Quality Standards and Monitoring Instruments for the Social Services for People with Disabilities


The main problem the project is tackling with is the need for improving the quality of the community-based social services for people with disabilities. It addresses the issue of role clarification in the process of social services provision between the three main actors (the state, the social service providers and the clients/parents) and the need for quality standards for the social services provision adjusted to the Bulgarian country specific. The project is closing the gap between the theoretical abstract concepts of “human rights” and “quality of life” and the daily practice of the social services provision. By combining the efforts of all relevant stakeholders the project raises the awareness and sets a common language on the fundamental integral concept of quality with its three dimensions – formal, professional and subjective quality. The project’s outcomes are elaborated and put into practice quality standards and practical monitoring instrumentsfor measuring the quality of the social services from the three main viewpoints.

The core activities of the project include:

  • Raising awareness on quality concepts and clarification of the three quality aspects;
  • Developing an internet debate forum debate forum (http://www.depasarel.bg/forum/on quality issuesand standards;
  • Establishment of thematic consultative groups and carrying out focus groups;
  • Presenting the results to all the stakeholders and to the general public.



  1. 1: Raised awareness, created a common language and fundamental understanding among all stakeholders on the integral issue of „quality“ and the necessity for closing the gap between the abstract concepts of quality and the quality practice of service provision through elaboration of quality standards and indicators.
  2. Elaboration and putting into practice of quality standards and practical monitoring instruments for measuring the formal, professional and subjective quality of the social services for people with disabilities.
  3. Empowered people with disabilities‘ voice by introducing the „quality of life“ criteria and with this strengthening their role in the process of decision and policy making regarding planning, development and provision of social support.

The impact of the project is related to:

  • Development and implementation in practice of quality standards and monitoring indicators is going to be an important step in the process of improvement of the social system and implementation of the Cycle of Improvement as a necessary element for any vital public system.
  • Implementation of the elaborated quality standards in the regulations and in new projects, monitoring initiatives and instruments implemented by the governmental bodies;
  • Implementation of the quality standards for the development of the professionalism of services provision as initiative of municipalities and private service providers;
  • Implementation by human rights organizations for objective criteria for protection of persons with disabilities dignity and rights;
  • The quality standards will be used by parental and user’s organizations as a foundation for development of the social support in the services.


Executing agency: De Pasarel Bulgaria Foundation


Address: 1000 Sofia, 4, Racho Dimchev St., ground floor

Tel. 02/4652263;

E-mail: depasarel@depasarel.bg

Project manager: Miryana Malamin-Siriyski


  • Round table conference was organized on 15th October, 2013 with over 72 participants from the different stakeholders groups including media representatives;
  • Established 3 consultative focus groups: 1st consultative focus group with representatives of users of social services – invited 14 participants; 2nd consultative focus group of representatives of state institutions and municipalities – invited 13 participants and 3rd consultative focus group with representatives for service providers – invited 19 participants;
  • Organized is a set of 3 meetings of each consultative focus group with total 76 participants.
  • The debate forum is created and a set of questions were positioned on it.
  • Publications on the topic are included on the Facebook – 2 664 persons are reached by 11 publications.
  • Two trainings “Self-evaluation and quality development in social services” for social services representatives are conducted with 26 participants.
  • Elaborated methodology on self-assessment in quality issues for service providers which supports the practical implementation of the elaborated quality criteria by social service providers.
  • A book “Beyond the standards. Integrated model for quality monitoring of social services” Is published including: the general description of the concept; a map of quality principles and criteria; the process of monitoring and self-evaluation; the set of 3 instruments for measurement of the 3 levels of quality consisted of questionnaires’ with indicators and questions.
  • Active participation of 10 people with intellectual disabilities and psychiatric problems in elaboration of quality standards and in the 2 round table discussions as speakers about quality of life;
  • The elaborated concept of quality was introduced to 63 representatives of all stakeholders on the Second Round Table (18.12.2014). There took participation representatives of all relevant state institutions, a lot of municipalities and many service providers, NGO representatives and users of social services.


In the framework of the project are analyzed the aspects of quality of social services at 3 levels – from the viewpoints of the users, the service providers and the state institutions. The core project activities include organization of round table conference “The quality of social services – formality, reality and challenge” and establishment of 3 consultative focus groups with a set of 3 meetings each in order to create concrete proposals and formulations. In the framework of the project is created an internet debate forum (http://www.depasarel.bg/forum/) and there different experts, service providers, users and wide public could share opinions and discuss the challenges and the experience gained in relation to quality of life of people with disabilities. The project’s implementation facilitates the process of policy making as an interactive activity between all stakeholders and is a powerful instrument for increasing the civil society’s organization impact, advocacy and networking capacity. The project is in compliance to the initiatives related to the children deinstitutionalization and establishment of new community based services and to the implementation of the ratified UN Convention of Human Rights of Persons with Disability. The elaborated quality standards will supplement the initiative of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy in establishment of monitoring on service provision with current focus on productivity of services. After completion of the project its overall objective is going to be achieved: 1) Better life standards of people with disabilities by ensuring quality of support provided by the social service system; 2) Established preconditions for vital mature social service provision through clarification of the roles division of the involved stakeholders; 3) Empowered service providers and service users for active participation in social service system development.