According to the Bulgarian
legislation, the social assistant is a person providing a mix of services
referred to social work and consultations of the users and also aiming to
satisfying the needs of organization of the free time and making contacts. In
the Handbook of Social Assistants, developed under the SANE project of the
National Program "Assistants for People with Disabilities", the
understanding of the activities of social assistants is expanded and it
includes a range of services in support of daily activities (food, shopping,
hygiene, payment of accounts), health status (support in taking medicines and
contacts with medical specialists), consumer activity (accompaniment outside
the home, support in activities, communication assistance, provision of
information), administrative assistance (assistance in preparing various
The handbook focuses on the
minimum of necessary competencies of social assistants - special, social and personal competence.
The importance of the personal characteristics of social workers is also
emphasized, including motivation, professional training and responsibility,
faith in people's abilities, openness to one's own feelings, awareness of
one's own values and beliefs and their non-intrusion on the values of others,
ability to establish and maintain warm relationships with others, the realism
of expectations, curiosity about the human person, a sense of humor. Special
focus is placed on the activities of social workers in situations of domestic
violence against the users. In this context, some important regulations are
• Victims of
domestic violence can go to court to impose urgent police protection
• At the
request of the injured person, each doctor is obliged to issue a document
certifying the injuries or traces of violence found.
• There are
various measures to ensure protection, such as removing the perpetrator from
the shared home, etc.
• In order
to clarify the various possible legal measures, it is good for the social
worker to direct the user to a consultation with a lawyer or to an
organization providing protection.
• The social
worker must inform the social service provider, who in turn can inform the
Social Assistance Directorate about the case of violence. Referral to the
court and the police can be made by the victim, his relatives and by the
Social Assistance Directorate.
When an act of domestic
violence against user has been identified, the social worker must carry out a
risk assessment, which includes:
of the degree of risk - whether there is a danger to the health of the user
and whether it is necessary to make a safety plan.
of the motivation for change - does the user want to stop the violence by the
of the supportive environment
• Is there a
need for referral to a specialist