Child and Youth Advocacy Centre “Zona ZaKrila”

Child and Youth Advocacy Centre ”Zona ZaKrila” provides services to children victims of violence and their families by establishing a specialized approach and programs bringing together good-quality legal, medical, psychological and social practices, child-friendly working procedures and favorable support environment.

The center consists of a multidisciplinary team which includes representatives of the Child Protection Departments at the Social Assistance Agency, the Regional Prosecutor’s Office, Sofia Municipality, the police, the Court and other institutions involved in a particular child case. The Child and Youth Advocacy Centre is run by a permanent team of 4 people – one psychologist,one social worker, a nurse and a lawyer.
The Child and Youth Advocacy Centre ”Zona ZaKrila” in Sofia is run by Animus Association Foundation with the support of UNICEF and bTV.

The center runs the following programs:

1. Program for Children Victims or Witnesses of Violence and their Families

The program provides psychological counseling or psychotherapy for children victims of violence and the non-abusive member of the family. The program aims at providing an opportunity for short- or long-term work for the recovery of victims of violence and their families from the experienced trauma. The program also benefits children and their parents or relatives who are not abusive.

2. Psychological Support for Parents Whose Children are Victims of Violence

This program aims at helping parents to cope with the strong emotions arising from the situation of violence in which their children are involved. The program is for parents who were not involved in the child’s abuse. During the consultations, parents have the opportunity to learn about the possible symptoms and reactions that children might display in order to signal that they have experienced violence as well as about the behavior that accompanies the process of recovering from the trauma and the steps that parents and relatives should take in order to protect their children.

3. Program for Psychological Support for Non-abusive Parents in Domestic Violence Cases.

The program targets parents involved in situations of domestic violence who are also victims of abuse. It aims at supporting parents to cease the violence and to provide a safe environment for their children.

4. Program for Working with Children Victims of School Bullying

The program includes counseling and support for children victims of bullying and their parents as well as psychological work with the child offender and his/her parents. The program is very important as bullying is a common phenomenon that has an extremely negative impact on the development and psycho-emotional state of children of different age groups.

5. Program for Prevention of Violence

The program aims at raising awareness and promoting intolerance of society as a whole to various forms of violence. It includes preparation and distribution of paper and electronic information leaflets on the issue of violence and the opportunities to cope with it. The program for prevention of violence also includes participation in workshops and forums related with the topics of child protection and the prevention of violence. The program also works for enhancement of the competences of those working with child victims of violence via training, seminars, etc.

6. Program for Working with Children Victims of Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking

The program aims to support children victims of sexual exploitation and human trafficking and provides psychological counseling and therapy, as well as social counseling and assistance.

7. Program for Working with Perpetrators of Violence

The program aims at supporting parents who have committed violence against their children and are also violent against other members of their families. The program aims to provide individual or group work with parents perpetrators for changing their violent attitudes and supporting them to acquire models to cope with the violence. Part of the program is assessment of the type of violence, investigation of the reasons for it, assessment of the risk for repeating the incidents of violence, preparation and work for changing attitudes as well as integrating models to cope with different kinds of violence . The program is available to parents who are under Article 5, Item 5 of the Law for Protection Against Domestic Violence or parents referred by Child Protection Departments at the Social Assistance Agency after a terminated situation of violence or physical separation of the child from the perpetrator of violence.

8. Program for Preparation and Conduction of Child’s Interrogation

The program targets children victims of violence or witnesses of abuse. The program aims to support and prepare children for participation in pre-trials and judicial trials. The goal of the program is to prepare the child for a hearing in a specialized room for interviewing children. The program also prepares children for hearings in courtrooms. The program provides the opportunity for a specially trained social worker or psychologist to interview the child.
Entrance to the services of the ”Protection Zone”- Child and Youth Advocacy Centre:

– via a referral or administrative order from the local Child Protection Department at the Social Assistance Agency;
– via personal request at tel.02/9835305; 02/9835405; 02/9835205;
– via official letter from another institution involved in the case.