CHILD PROTECTION ACT

CHILD PROTECTION ACT

Prom. SG. 48/13 Jun 2000, amend. SG. 75/2 Aug 2002, amend. SG. 120/29 Dec 2002, amend. SG. 36/18 Apr 2003, amend. SG. 63/15 Jul 2003, amend. SG. 70/10 Aug 2004, amend. SG. 115/30 Dec 2004, amend. SG. 28/1 Apr 2005, amend. SG. 94/25 Nov 2005, amend. SG. 103/23 Dec 2005, amend. SG. 30/11 Apr 2006, amend. SG. 38/9 May 2006, amend. SG. 82/10 Oct 2006, amend. SG. 59/20 Jul 2007, amend. SG. 69/5 Aug 2008, amend. SG. 14/20 Feb 2009, amend. SG. 47/23 Jun 2009, amend. SG. 74/15 Sep 2009, amend. SG. 42/4 Jun 2010, amend. SG. 50/2 Jul 2010, amend. SG. 59/31 Jul 2010, amend. SG. 98/14 Dec 2010, amend. SG. 28/5 Apr 2011, amend. SG. 51/5 Jul 2011, amend. SG. 32/24 Apr 2012, amend. SG. 40/29 May 2012, amend. SG. 15/15 Feb 2013, amend. SG. 68/2 Aug 2013, amend. SG. 84/27 Sep 2013, amend. SG. 79/13 Oct 2015, amend. and suppl. SG. 8/29 Jan 2016, amend. SG. 85/24 Oct 2017, amend. and suppl. SG. 103/28 Dec 2017, amend. SG. 17/23 Feb 2018

Chapter one.
GENERAL PROVISIONS

Subject of the Act

Art. 1. (1) (prev. text of art. 1 - SG 36/03; amend. - SG 38/06) This Act shall provide the rights, the principles and the child protection measures, the state and the municipal bodies and their interaction in implementing the activities related to child protection as well as the participation of corporate bodies and individuals in such activities.

(2) (new, SG 36/03) The state shall protect and guarantee the basic rights of the child in all spheres of the public life, for all groups of children according to their age, social status, physical, health and psychic state, as well as provide to everybody an appropriate economic, social and cultural environment, education, freedom of convictions and security.

(3) (new, SG 36/03; amend. - SG 38/06) The state policy for child protection shall be carried out on the basis of National Strategy for the Child developed according to the principles of this Act, adopted by the National Assembly upon proposal of the Council of Ministers. For implementation of the National Strategy the Council of Ministers shall adopt National Child Protection Programme, proposed by the Minister of Labour and Social Policy and the Chairman of the State Agency for Child Protection.

(4) (new, SG 36/03) The state bodies, within the frames of their competence, shall carry out the state policy for child protection and shall create appropriate conditions for the development of the child.

 

 

Definition of child

Art. 2. Child in the sense of this Act shall be each individual till 18 years of age.

 

 

Principles of protection

Art. 3. Child protection shall be based on the following principles:

1. consideration and respect of the personality of the child;

2. bringing up the child in family environment;

3. (amend. – SG 14/09) ensuring the best interests of the child;

4. (amend. – SG 14/09) special protection of a child in risk;

5. encouraging the voluntary participation in the activities related to child protection;

6. selection of the persons directly engaged in the activities related to child protection according to their personal and social qualities and care for their professional qualification;

7. temporary character of the restrictive measures;

8. (new, SG 36/03) immediate actions related to the child protection;

9. (new, SG 36/03; amend. - SG 38/06; amend. – SG 14/09) providing care according to the needs of the child.

10. (new – SG 14/09) ensuring the development of gifted children;

11. (new – SG 14/09) encouragement of responsible parenthood;

12. (new – SG 14/09) family support;

13. (new - SG 38/06; prev. text of item 10 - SG 14/09) preventive security and child protection measures;

14. (prev. item 8 - SG 36/03; prev. text of item 10 - SG 38/06; prev. text of item 11 - SG 14/09) control over the efficiency of the undertaken measures.

 

 

Protection Measures

Art. 4. (amend., SG 36/03) (1) The child protection under this Act shall be implemented through:

1. assistance, support and services in family environment;

2. accommodation in a family of relatives or close friends;

3. (new - SG 38/06) adoption;

4. accommodation in receiving family;

5. (new – SG 14/09) provision of resident social services;

6. (prev. text of item 5 - SG 14/09) accommodation in a specialised institution;

7. (prev. text of item 6 - SG 14/09) police protection.

8. (prev. text of item 7 - SG 14/09) specialised protection in public places;

9. (prev. text of item 8 - SG 14/09) information about the rights and obligations of children and parents;

10. (prev. text of item 9 - SG 14/09) provision of preventive measures for security and child protection;

11. (prev. text of item 10 - SG 14/09) provision of legal assistance by the state;

12. (amend. - SG 38/06; prev. text of item 11 - SG 14/09) special care for the children with lesions;

13. (new – SG 59/07, in force from 24.07.2007; prev. text of item 12 - SG 14/09) undertaking of provisional child protection measures in cases and under the provisions of Art. 12 of the Convention on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition, enforcement and co-operation in respect of parental responsibility and child protection measures, drawn up in Hague on 19 October 1996 (ratified by an Act– SG 09/06) (SG 15/07), herein after referred to as "The Convention of 1996".

(2) (suppl., SG 63/03; amend. – SG 14/09) A child may be adopted under the conditions and by the order of the Family Code.

(3) (prev. para 2 - SG 63/03; amend. – SG 14/09) The criteria and standards for social services to children for implementation of the measures under para 1, item 1, 2, 4 - 6 shall be determined by an ordinance adopted by the Council of Ministers on a proposal of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy.

 

 

Special protection

Art. 5. (amend. – SG 14/09) (1) Special protection shall be ensured for children in risk.

(2) The terms and the procedure for implementing measures for prevention of abandoning children and their accommodation in specialized institutions, as well as their re-integration, shall be determined by an ordinance of the Council of Ministers on a proposal of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy and the Chairman of the State Agency for Child Protection.

 

 

Protection of gifted children

Art. 5a. (new – SG 14/09; amend. – SG 74/09, in force from 15.09.2009; amend. - SG 50/10; amend. – SG 68/13, in force from 02.08.2013) Protection of gifted children shall be carried out under conditions and by an order determined by an ordinance of the Council of Ministers on a proposal of the Minister of Culture, the Minister of Education and Science, the Chairman of the State Agency for Child Protection and the Minister of Youth and Sports, stipulating measures for:

1. encouragement of the creative talents and needs of the children;

2. providing possibilities and conditions for admission in sport schools and art schools;

3. financial support and stimulation through scholarships and specialised educational programmes.

 

 

Special protection of children in public places

Art. 5b. (new – SG 14/09) (1) (amend. – SG 74/09, in force from 15.09.2009; amend., - SG 98/10, in force from 01.01.2011; amend. – SG 68/13, in force from 02.08.2013; amend. - SG 79/15, in force from 01.08.2016) Special protection of children in public places shall be provided by the bodies of Ministry of Interior, directorates "Social support", the mayors, the regional education administrations of the Ministry of Education and Science, the regional health inspectorates and by the owners, tenants and users of commercial sites, cinemas and theatres, as well as by organizers of public events.

(2) Specialised protection of children in public places shall be carried out under conditions and by an order determined by an ordinance of the Council of Ministers on a proposal of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy, the Minister of Interior and the Chairman of the State Agency for Child Protection.

(3) Selling alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, as well as offering such to minors shall be prohibited.

 

 

Child Protection Bodies

Art. 6. Child protection shall be implemented through:

1. (amend., SG 36/03) the Chairman of the State agency for Child Protection and the administration assisting him in exercising his legal capacities;

2. Municipal services for social support.

3. (new, SG 36/03; amend. - SG 38/06; suppl. – SG 14/09; amend. – SG 74/09, in force from 15.09.2009; amend. – SG 68/13, in force from 02.08.2013) the Minister of Labour and Social Policy, Minister of Interior, Minister of Education and Science, Minister of Justice, Minister of Interior, Minister of Culture, Minister of Health and the mayors of the municipalities.

 

 

Liabilities of the Protection Bodies referred to in Art. 6, item 3

Art. 6a. (new – SG 14/09) (1) The bodies referred to in Art. 6, item 3 shall develop and participate in the state policy on child protection.

(2) The bodies referred to in Art. 6, item 3 shall take part in the implementation and accounting of the National Strategy for Children and the National Child Protection Programme.

(3) The bodies referred to in Art. 6, item 3, jointly with the Chairman of the Chairman of the State Agency for Child Protection shall work out a coordination mechanism for interaction in accordance with their competences in the sphere of child protection in order to ensure an effective prevention and control system regarding children’s rights.

(4) Within the scope of their powers:

1. the Minister of Labour and Social Policy shall:

a) manage, coordinate and control the implementation of the social policy of the state in the sphere of children and family;

b) support and encourage the cooperation with the civil organizations with the purpose of active involvement in the process of preparation, implementation and monitoring of the policy on child protection;

c) manage, coordinat6e and control the activities related to encouragement and support of responsible parenthood;

d) manage, coordinate and control the preparation of draft legislation acts, strategies, programmes, action plans and reports in the sphere of demographic policy, family and children;

2. the Minister of Interior shall:

a) provide police protection of children by the specialized bodies of the Ministry of Interior;

b) take part in the exercising of control over the specialized protection of children in public places;

c) carry out control of children crossing Bulgarian state borders;

3. (amend. – SG 68/13, in force from 02.08.2013) the Minister of Education and Science shall:

a) (amend. - SG 79/15, in force from 01.08.2016) ensure the safety of children in state schools and kindergartens in the system of pre-school and school education;

b) (amend. - SG 79/15, in force from 01.08.2016) ensure the cooperation with the managing bodies of the specialized institutions via the regional educational administrations in the sphere of resident type services in order to specify the educational needs of every child and to provide proper training;

c) carry out activities related to prevention and solving the problems of students who do not attend classes;

d) take part in the provision special protection of gifted children;

4. the Minister of Justice shall:

a) supervise the activities related to international adoption according to the Family Code, and perform the functions assigned to the Ministry of Justice as a central body in the sphere of international conventions in the field of international adoption and child protection;

b) ensure the safety of children serving imprisonment sentence at reformatories, residing in prisons or prison premises or who have been detained at prosecution arrests;

c) undertake actions in order to research the opportunities of offering and concluding bilateral agreements with Members States – parties to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption of 29 May 1993 (ratified by a Act – SG 16/02) (SG 78/02), regarding international adoption of children with health problems or specific needs;

5. the Minister of Interior shall:

a) ensure the protection of the rights and interests of children – Bulgarian citizens outside the state;

b) take part in the performance of the obligations of the Republic of Bulgaria to other states and international organizations in the sphere of children's rights and in the control over their fulfillment;

c) coordinate and take part in the preparation, conducting and implementation of international agreements in the field of children’s rights;

6. the Minister of Culture shall:

a) be engaged in the discovering, support and training of gifted children in the sphere of culture;

b) conduct policy on protection and development of culture, supporting the mental, spiritual, moral and social development of children;

c) ensure the safety of children at schools and the other organizational units in the system of the Ministry of Culture;

7. the Minister of Health shall:

a) supervise the provision of accessible and quality medical care, giving priority to children, pregnant women and mothers of children up to one year of age;

b) supervise the activities carried out by the medical and social care centres;

c) manage and supervise the activities related to protection of children’s health in order to provide the highest possible health standard for the state;

8. the mayors of municipalities shall:

a) ensure the implementation of state policy on child protection in the municipality and coordinate the child protection activities on a regional level;

b) (amend. - SG 79/15, in force from 01.08.2016) ensure the safety of children in municipal schools, kindergartens and personal development support centers;

c) undertake measures for safety of children in the structures and units on the territory of the respective municipality;

d) support and encourage the cooperation with civil organizations on a local level with the purpose of including them actively in the process of preparation, implementation and monitoring of a child protection policy.

 

 

Obligation for cooperation

Art. 7. (1) (amend. SG 120/02; suppl., SG 36/03; amend. - SG 38/06) A person who knows that a child needs protection shall be obliged immediately to inform the directorate "Social support", the State Agency for Child Protection or the Ministry of Interior.

(2) The same obligation shall have also each person to whom this has become known in connection with the profession or the activity exercised by him even if it is bound with professional secret.

(3) (new - SG 38/06) Upon receipt of notification in the State Agency for Child Protection that a child needs protection, the chairman shall immediately forward it to department "Child Protection" of directorate "Social Support" at the present address of the child.

(4) (new - SG 38/06) Upon receipt of notification as referred to in para 1 which concerns the activity of another institution it shall be forwarded to it by competency.

(5) (new, SG 36/03; prev. text of para 03 - SG 38/06) The central and territorial bodies of the executive authority and the specialised institutions for children shall be obliged to render timely assistance and to submit information to the State Agency for Child Protection and to directorates "Social support" in fulfilment of their official duties under conditions and by an order determined by the Protection of Personal Data Act.

 

 

Duties and obligations of parents, guardians, custodians or other persons who are taking care of a child (title suppl. – SG 14/09)

Art. 8. (1) (suppl. – SG 14/09) Each parent guardian, custodian or other person taking care of a child can require and receive cooperation by the bodies under this Act.

(2) (amend. – SG 14/09) Parents, guardians, custodians or other persons who are taking care of a child have the right to be informed and consulted about all the measures and the activities undertaken under this Act except the cases of art. 13 and may require change of the measures if the circumstances have been changed.

(3) (new, SG 36/03; amend. - SG 38/06; amend. – SG 14/09) Parents, guardians, custodians or other persons who are taking care of a child shall be obliged to accompany their children in public places after 8 p.m, if the child has not reached 14 years of age, respectively after 10 p.m. if the child has reached 14, however is under 18 years of age.

(4) (new – SG 14/09) If the parents, guardians, custodians or other persons who are taking care of a child, can not accompany it in public places, they must find a legally capable adult to do that for them after 10 p.m. if the child has reached 14, however is under 18 years of age.

(5) (prev. para 4 - SG 36/03; revoked – SG 14/09; new – SG 42/10, in force from 02.06.2010; revoked – SG 40/12, in force from 01.06.2012)

(6) (prev. para 3 - SG 36/03; prev. text of para 4 – amend. – SG 14/09) Parents, guardians, custodians or other persons who are taking care of a child shall be obliged to fulfil the measures undertaken under this Act and to cooperage on the carrying out of the activities related to child protection.

(7) (new – SG 14/09) Parents, guardians, custodians or other persons who are taking care of a child shall identify the companion of the child under para 4 following a procedure set forth in the ordinance as per Art. 5b, para 2.

(8) (new – SG 14/09) Parents, guardians, custodians or other persons who are taking care of a child must not leave their children under 12 years of age without supervision and care if in doing so there will be danger for their physical, mental and moral development.

(9) (new – SG 59/10) Parents, guardians, custodians or other persons who are taking care of a child are obliged to prevent its participation in advertisements or other forms of commercial messages for genetically modified foods.

(10) (new - SG 28/11) Parents, guardians, custodians or other persons who are taking care of a child are obliged not to allow the participation of children in programmes in the sense of the Radio and Television Act, which are disadvantageous or threaten their physical, mental, moral and/or social development.

 

 

Duties and obligations of the managing bodies of specialized institutions in the sphere of resident social services and social services within the Community

Art. 8a. (new – SG 14/09) (1) The managing bodies of specialized institutions of resident type services and of Community social services shall have the rights and the duties as per Art. 8.

(2) The bodies under para 1 shall provide guard to the sites where the services are carried out.

(3) The bodies under para 1 shall provide, see to and assess the professional competence of the employees in the respective institution, resident type service or Community service.

(4) Professional competence assessment shall obligatorily be carried out prior to commencement of work of each employee every three years. Where necessary if the respective body decides so, the assessment may be carried out in shorter terms.

(5) The terms and the procedure for the assessment referred to in para 3 shall be set forth by the ordinance as per Art. 17a, item 4.

(6) In the cases of accommodation of a child under Art. 25, para 1, item 3, the managing bodies of the specialized institutions and of the resident social services shall be obliged to:

1. notify in writing the parents, guardians, custodians or other persons of each child of the forthcoming assessments of its educational needs and its directing to a special school training or integrated education.

2. ensure the fulfillment of the decision of the teams carrying out overall pedagogical assessment concerning directing children to a certain type of training in those cases where their parents, guardians or custodians do not perform their functions under the Public Education Act and the Regulations for Implementation of the Public Education Act.

(7) The bodies under para 1 shall undertake actions to implement the disciplinary liability according to the Labour code in those cases where the chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection has carried out an inspection and has made a proposal for imposing disciplinary punishment.

 

 

Participation of Legal Entities

Art. 9. (1) (amend. - SG 38/06) Legal entities as well as separate individuals shall participate in the activities related to child protection under conditions and by order specified by the law.

(2) The persons of para 1 and the state and municipal bodies shall cooperate in child protection activities.

 

Chapter two.
RIGHTS OF THE CHILD

Right to protection

Art. 10. (1) Each child shall have right to protection for normal physical, mental, moral and social development and to protection of his rights and interests.

(2) (new – SG 84/13) Entitled to protection pursuant to this Act shall also be a person who is a victim of abuse or exploitation, the age of whom is not established, however one may reasonably presume that the said person is a child.

(3) (suppl., SG 36/03; prev. text of para 2 – SG 84/13) No restrictions of the rights or the privileges shall be admitted based on race, nationality, ethnic origin, sex, origin, proprietary status, religion, education and beliefs or presence of lesion.

 

 

Protection from violence

Art. 11. (1) Each child shall have right to protection from involving into activities unfavourable for his physical, psychic, moral and educational development.

(2) Each child shall have right to protection from methods of tuition impeding his dignity, from physical, psychic or other violence and forms of influence contravening with his interests.

(3) Each child shall have right to protection from using for begging, prostitution, distribution of pornographic materials and receiving unlawful material incomes as well as from sexual harassment.

(4) Each child shall have right to protection from involving into political, religious and syndicate activities.

 

 

Protection of the child’s personality

Art. 11a. (new – SG 14/09) (1) Pieces of information and data concerning a child’s personality shall not be disclosed without the consent of his/her parents or authorized representatives, unless in the cases of Art. 7, para 1.

(2) In the cases where a protection measure has been undertaken regarding a child, pieces of information and data concerning the child may not be disclosed without the written statement of the protection body that has undertaken the measure.

(3) If the child has reached 14 years of age, his/her consent for disclosing information and data shall also be taken into account.

 

 

Right to expression

Art. 12. Each child shall have right to express freely opinion about all the issues of his interest. He can request cooperation from the bodies and the persons to whom has been assigned his protection under this Act.

 

 

Informing and consulting

Art. 13. Each child shall have right to be informed and consulted by the child protection body also without the knowledge of his parents or the persons who take care for upbringing and tuition if this is necessary with regard to the best protection of his interests and informing them would affect these interests.

 

 

Protection of religious beliefs

Art. 14. (1) The attitude of children up to 14 years of age to the religion shall be determined by their parents or guardians, and of children from 14 to 18 years of age - with agreement between them and their parents or patrons.

(2) When such agreement is not achieved the child can address for solving the dispute the district court through the bodies under this Act.

 

 

Participation in procedures

Art. 15. (1) In each administrative or court procedure where are affected rights or interests of a child, he shall be obligatory subject to hearing if he is older than 10 years of age except if this would harm his interests.

(2) When the child is under 10 years of age he can be subject to hearing depending on the degree of his development. The decision for hearing shall be motivated.

(3) Before hearing to the child the court or the administrative body shall:

1. ensure for him the necessary information with which to help him formulate his opinion;

2. inform him about the possible consequences of his wishes, of the opinion maintained by him as well as about any decision of the court or administrative body.

(4) (amend., SG 36/03; amend. – SG 14/09) The court and administrative bodies shall provide suitable environment the child to be heard, taking into consideration its age. In all cases the hearing and the consulting of the child shall be carried out in the presence of a social worker from directorate "Social support" at the permanent address of the child, and where necessary - in the presence of other appropriate specialist.

(5) (new, SG 36/03; amend. - SG 38/06; amend. – SG 14/09) The court or the administrative body shall order the hearing to be also carried out in the presence of a parent, guardian, custodian, other person taking care of a child or other relative who the child knows, with exception of the cases when this does not correspond to the interest of the child.

(6) (amend. SG 120/02; prev. para 5 - amend., SG 36/03; amend. and suppl. - SG 38/06; amend. – SG 14/09) At each court procedure the court or the administrative body shall inform the directorate "Social support" at the present address of the child, provided that to the notification shall be applied the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, and to the notification from the administrative body shall be applied the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Code. Directorate "Social Support" shall send a representative who shall express an opinion, and where possible, present a report.

(7) (amend. SG 120/02; prev. para 6 - SG 36/03) The directorate "Social support" can represent the child in the cases provided by law.

(8) (prev. para 7 - SG 36/03) The child shall have right to legal assistance in all the procedures affecting his rights or interests.

 

 

Respect for parents and observing public moral

Art. 15a. (new - SG 38/06; amend. – SG 14/09) When exercising its rights the child shall consider and respect the rights of its parents, guardians, custodians or other persons who are taking care of it as well as the other members of society, to observe the public order, moral and the requirements of protection of public health.

 

 

Secret of information

Art. 16. (1) (suppl. - SG 14/09) All the facts obtained in administrative or court procedures concerning the child cannot be divulged without the consent of the parents or legal representatives and if the child has turned 10 years of age - also without his consent.

(2) The court can permit the bodies of this Act to use the data of para 1 also without the consent of the persons of para 1 if this is imposed by the interests of the child and for undertaking measures for his protection.

(3) (new, SG 36/03) The social workers and the officials shall be obliged to observe the normative requirements for protection of the personal data having become known to them during or on occasion of carrying out the child protection measures, as well as to respect the honour and the dignity of the person.

 

Chapter three.
CHILD PROTECTION BODIES

Chairman of the State Agency for Child Protection (amend., SG 36/03)

Art. 17. (amend., SG 36/03) (1) A specialised body of the Council of Ministers for management, coordination and control in the field of child protection shall be the Chairman of the State Agency for Child Protection.

(2) The State Agency is a state-financed legal person with a seat in Sofia.

(3) The agency shall be managed and represented by a chairman who shall be appointed by a decision of the Council of Ministers.

(4) The chairman of the agency shall be assisted in his activity by a deputy chairman.

(5) The activity, the structure, the organisation of the work and the members of the agency shall be determined by regulations approved by the Council of Ministers upon proposal by the chairman.

 

 

Legal Capacity of the Chairman of the State Agency for Child Protection (New, SG 36/03)

Art. 17a. (1) (new, SG 36/03; prev. text of Art. 17a - SG 14/09) The Chairman of the State Agency for Child Protection shall have the following legal capacities:

1. (amend. SG 28/05, amend. SG 94/05 ; amend. - SG 103/05 ; amend. - SG 103/05; amend. – SG 74/09, in force from 15.09.2009; amend. - SG 50/10; amend. – SG 68/13, in force from 02.08.2013) work out, jointly with the Minister of Labour and Social Policy, the Minister of health, the Minister of Education and Science, the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Interior, the Minister of Culture, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Youth and Sports, the governor of the National Insurance Institute, the Secretary of the Central Commission for fighting the antisocial acts of the minors and underage at the Council of Ministers and with the National Association of the municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria, the state policy for child protection;

2. work out and control the fulfilment of national and regional programmes for carrying out child protection;

3. (amend. - SG 14/09) observe and analyse the implementation of the state policy for child protection and give methodological instructions to the Child Protection departments, the directorates "Social support" and shall provide methodical guidance on children’s rights;

4. (amend., SG 63/03; amend. - SG 14/09) work out an ordinance for the criteria and standards for social services for children related to the implementation of the measures under art. 4, para 1, items 1, 2, 4 - 6 and propose it to the Minister of Labour and Social Policy;

5. (amend. - SG 38/06, in force from the date of entering into force of the Treaty of Accession of the Republic of Bulgaria to the European Union regarding the words "the persons referred to in art. 18, para 1, items 3 and 4 of the Social Support Act") issue licence to the persons referred to in art. 18, para 1, items 3 and 4 of the Social Support Actfor providing social services to children under 18 years of age under the conditions and by the order of Chapter Four "a";

6. (amend. – SG 74/09, in force from 15.09.2009; amend. – SG 68/13, in force from 02.08.2013) assist the Minister of Labour and Social Policy, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Education and Science, the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Interior in forming and implementation of the policy for integration with the European Union in the sphere of child protection;

7. may present the state in international organisations and programmes in the sphere of child protection upon legal capacities granted by the Council of Ministers;

8. work out and participate in the discussions of projects and normative acts in the sphere of child protection;

9. (amend. - SG 38/06) create and maintain national information system which functioning shall be determined by the regulation for implementation of the law; the system shall contain data:

a) for the children in risk;

b) for the children with significant talents;

c) from the registers, kept by the regional directorates for social support of the Agency for Social Support according to the order of the Family Code;

d) for specialised institutions for children;

e) for non-profit corporate bodies working on programmes for child protection;

f) for the children not attending school;

g) for the providers of social services for children;

h) other data of importance for the child protection;

10. assist the activity of the non-profit child protection legal entities;

11. organise and carry out scientific and research activity in the sphere of child protection;

12. work out regulations for the structure, organisation and activity of the National Council for Child Protection to be adopted by the Council of Ministers;

13. organise and manage the activity of the National Council for child protection in his quality of chairman of the council;

14. (suppl. - SG 38/06; amend. and suppl. - SG 14/09; amend. - SG 79/15, in force from 01.08.2016) organise inspections for observing the rights of the child by all state, municipal and private schools, kindergartens and nurseries, personal development support centers, health care establishments, directorates "Social support", providers of social services for children and non-profit organizations working in the sphere of child protection, and shall give obligatory prescriptions, personally or through a person authorised by him in case any violation has been found;

15. (amend. – SG 14/09) carry out observation and control of the specialised institutions for bringing up children regarding the observance of the rights of the child and give obligatory prescriptions, personally or through a person authorised by him in case any violation has been found;

16. (new – SG 14/09) organize inspections on the observance of standards of social services provided to children and if any offences are found, shall give obligatory prescriptions, personally or through an official authorised by him

17. (new – SG 14/09) set up and maintain a single phone number with national coverage for the purposes of informing, consulting and helping children;

18. (prev. text of item 16 – SG 14/09) submit annually to the Council of Ministers a report on the activity of the Agency;

19. (new – SG 14/09) carry out other activities specified by an Act of act of the Council of Ministers;

(2) (new - SG 14/09) The obligatory prescriptions under para 1, items 14 – 16 shall be accompanied by guidance methods for their implementation as well as a scheme for interaction between the institutions in charge.

(3) (new - SG 14/09) The obligatory prescriptions under para 2 may be subject to appeal according to the Administrative Procedure Code.

 

 

National Council for Child Protection

Art. 18. (1) (Amend., SG 75/02; amend., SG 36/03, amend. SG 28/05, amend. SG 94/05 ; amend. - SG 103/05; suppl. - SG 38/06; suppl. - SG 14/09; amend. – SG 74/09, in force from 15.09.2009; amend. - SG 50/10; amend. – SG 68/13, in force from 02.08.2013) At the State Agency for Child Protection shall be established National council for child protection with consultative and coordination functions, in which shall participate representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Social Assistance Agency, the Bulgarian National Anti-traffic Commission, the National Narcotic Substances Council, the National Statistical Institute, the National Insurance Institute, the Central Commission for fighting the antisocial acts of the minors and underage and of the National Association of the municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria, as well as of non-profit corporate bodies who have as subject of activity the child protection.

(2) (new - SG 14/09) The draft legislation acts, containing provisions related to rights of children, shall be forwarded to the Council of Ministers following the advance consent of the National council for child protection.

(3) (prev. text of para 2 – SG 14/09) The structure, the organisation and the activity of the National council for child protection shall be determined with a regulation approved by the Council of Ministers.

 

 

Functions of the agency

Art. 19. (revoked, SG 36/03)

 

 

Municipal service for social support

Art. 20. (1) (amend. SG 120/02; amend., SG 36/03) Specialised body for conducting the policy for child protection in the municipality shall be the directorate "Social support" to which shall be established a department for child protection.

(2) (amend., SG 36/03; amend. and suppl. - SG 14/09) Directorate "Social support" shall work in cooperation and coordination with state bodies and natural and legal persons whose main activity is child protection.

 

 

Child Support Commission (New, SG 36/03; title amend. – SG 14/09)

Art. 20a. (new, SG 36/03; amend. – SG 14/09) (1) (amend., - SG 98/10, in force from 01.01.2011;amend. - SG 79/15, in force from 01.08.2016) Established at every municipality shall be Child Support Commission having consultative and coordination functions with participation of representatives of the municipal administration, the district directorate of the Ministry of Interior, the regional education administration, the health inspectorates, directorate "Social support", the local commissions for fighting the antisocial acts of minors and underage, as well as of non-profit legal persons and others, carrying out activities related to child protection.

(2) Chairman of the commission under para 1 shall be the mayor of the municipality or an authorized official.

(3) The commission under para 1 shall be unifying and coordinating unit for the children support policies on the territory of the municipality and shall ensure the implementation of the local child protection policy.

 

 

Functions of the directorate "Social support"

Art. 21. (amend. SG 120/02; amend., SG 36/03) Under this Act the directorate "Social support" shall:

1. implement the current practical activity related to child protection in the municipality and shall extend proposals to the municipal council for municipal child protection programme;

2. determine and conduct concrete child protection measures and control their fulfilment;

3. (suppl. - SG 14/09) carry out checks of appeals and signals about violations of the rights of children and give obligatory instructions for removal thereof under terms and following a procedure set forth by the regulations on implementation of the Act;

4. give advice and consultation for upbringing and tutoring of children;

5. concede information about the offered services and render cooperation and assistance to the families and the children in need;

6. compile and maintain updated registers about:

a) children needing special protection;

b) children under police protection;

c) (amend. - SG 38/06) children not attending school;

d) children accommodated in families of relatives and close friends;

e) children accommodated in foster families;

f) children accommodated in specialised institutions;

g) (revoked – SG 32/12, in force from 24.04.2012)

h) non-profit legal entities working on child protection programmes;

i) (revoked – SG 38/06)

7. cooperate and collaborate with non-profit corporate bodies carrying out activity related to child protection;

8. support the professional orientation and the qualification of the children in risk, including those who have graduated secondary school after major age;

9. (amend. – SG 32/12, in force from 24.04.2012) organise training and consultation of receptive parents and participate in their selection;

10. inform, where necessary, the police, the prosecutor's office and the court who are obliged to undertake immediate actions for protection of children;

11. organise immediate help for children in distress, including in the cases under art. 41, upon expiration of the 48-hour police protection;

12. make proposals for assigning patron councils and guardians;

13. (amend. - SG 38/06) investigate the candidates for adopters in the country and give written conclusion before the court about their ability to adopt a child; give opinion in the cases stipulated by the Family Code; organise consultations and training of candidate-adopters and provide observation of the child in the post-adoption period for a period of two years from the date of adoption;

14. file claims for deprivation or restriction of parental rights to the interest of the child or assume party in already instituted proceedings;

15. (amend. - SG 38/06; amend. – SG 14/09) in the cases under art. 15, para 6 work out written reports and statements where the parents, guardians, custodians or the other persons taking care of the child, as well as the child having 14 years of age if this would not harm its interest, shall be introduced to the report before the presentation of the requesting body.

(2) The director of directorate "Social support" shall appoint the persons to carry out the functions of a representative in the context of art. 15, para 6.

(3) (new – SG 59/07, in force from 24.07.2007) On the grounds of Art. 35, par. 2 of the Convention of 1996 the Directorate "Social support" by the permanent address of residence of the parent, requiring from the respective competent authority to obtain or to maintain his/her right of personal relations with a child, having a usual residence in the Republic of Bulgaria, shall carry out an inspection and shall draw up a conclusion on whether the parent is capable of exercising this right, and also on the conditions, under which the personal relations can take place.

 

 

Cooperation with the body for patronage and guardianship

Art. 22. (amend. SG 120/02) The directorate "Social support" shall work in cooperation with the body for patronage and guardianship.

 

Chapter three "a".
PROCEEDINGS FOR RETURN OF A CHILD OR FOR EXERCISING OF THE RIGHT OF PERSONAL RELATIONS (NEW – SG 59/07, IN FORCE FROM 24.07.2007)

Art. 22a. (new – SG 59/07, in force from 24.07.2007) (1) The application for a return of a child or for exercising of the right of personal relations under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, drawn up in Hague on 25 October 1980 (ratified by an Act – SG 20/03) (SG – 82/03), herein after referred to as "Hague Convention", shall be considered in an open session, in which shall participate:

1. The Ministry of Justice or the person having filed the application;

2. the interested parties;

3. public prosecutor.

(2) In the proceedings under par. 1 the Directorate "Social support" at the Municipality by the child’s present address shall issue an assessment. The court shall listen to the child pursuant to Art. 15.

(3) The Ministry of Justice shall represent the claimant, where the application has been filed through it. It may nominate a representative to act on its behalf.

 

 

Art. 22b. (new – SG 59/07, in force from 24.07.2007) The Court may upon a filed request or officially establish a relevant provisional child protection measure in view of prevention of further hazards for the child or damages to the parties.

 

 

Art. 22c. (new – SG 59.07, in force from 24.07.2007) (1) The Court shall deliver judgment within one month after the filing of application.

(2) Within the proceedings under Art. 22a, par. 1 the Court shall not consider on the merits the issue of exercising of parental rights.

 

 

Art. 22d. (new – SG 59.07, in force from 24.07.2007) (1) The decision of Sofia City Court shall be subject to appeal before the Sofia Court of Appeal by the persons under Art. 22a, par. 1.

(2) Within one month after the receipt of the appeal the Court shall deliver judgment which shall be final.

 

 

Art. 22e. (new – SG 59/07, in force from 24.07.2007) In these proceedings the Court may on its own initiative collect evidences, and facilitate the parties in executing their procedural rights.

 

 

Art. 22f. (new – SG 59/07, in force from 24.07.2007) Provided that the foreign court applies Art. 15 of the Hague Convention, the competent Bulgarian body for ascertaining of the wrongfulness of the removal or retention of a child shall be the court, having considered or considering the issues related to parental rights, or the Ministry of Justice, where these issues have not been subject to court proceedings.

 

 

Art. 22g. (new – SG 59/07, in force from 24.07.2007) (1) The rules of this Chapter shall apply respectively also with regard to the Convention of 1996 concerning parental responsibility and children protection measures.

(2) In cases and under the conditions of Art. 8, 9 and 13 of the Convention of 1996 the competent court may, after having been referred to first and considers that this is in child’s interest, transfer its competency to the foreign court having been referred to later, or may accept for consideration and pass a judgment, when the foreign court, having been referred to first, transfers it.

(3) In cases of par. 2 the passed by the foreign court judgment shall be subject to acknowledgment and execution pursuant to the provisions of Chapter Three "b".

 

Chapter three "b".
SPECIAL RULES FOR RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENT OF DECISIONS OF FOREIGN COURTS AND OF OTHER FOREIGN BODIES, RELATED TO PARENTAL RIGHTS AND MEASURES FOR CHILDREN’S PROTECTION (NEW – SG 59/07, IN FORCE FROM 24.07.2007)

Art. 22h. (new – SG 59.07, in force from 24.07.2007) (1) The application for recognition and enforcement of a decision of a foreign court or of any other foreign body for execution of parental rights and for restoration of execution of parental rights in case of unlawful removal of a child, based on the European convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions concerning Custody of Children and on Restoration of Custody of Children of 1980, drawn up in Luxemburg on 20 May 1980 (ratified by an Act – SG 21/03) (SG – 104/03), herein after referred to as "Luxemburg Convention" shall be considered by Sofia City Court in an open session, in which shall participate:

1. The Ministry of Justice or the person having filed the application;

2. the parties under the foreign country decision;

3. public prosecutor.

(2) Paragraph 1, item 1 shall not apply when the applicant has directly referred to the court.

(3) In the proceedings under par. 1 the Directorate "Social support" at the Municipality by the child’s present address shall issue an assessment. The court shall listen to the child pursuant to Art. 15.

(4) The Court may upon a filed request or officially establish a relevant provisional child protection measure in view of prevention of further hazards for the child or damages to the parties.

 

 

Art. 22i. (new – SG 59/07, in force from 24.07.2007) (1) The Court shall suspend the proceedings under Art. 22g, par. 1, when:

1. the decision is subject to appeal;

2. in the Bulgarian court there are pending proceedings on the merit of the dispute, which have been initiated prior to the proceedings in the state, where the decision has been passed, the recognition and/or enforcement of which is been claimed;

3. other decision concerning exercising of parental rights is subject to proceedings for its recognition and/or enforcement.

(2) In cases under par. 1, item 2 the court notifies immediately the respective court, which is obliged to pass a judgment within one month after the notification.

 

 

Art. 22j. (new – SG 59/07, in force from 24.07.2007) (1) The court shall issue a decision within one month after the acceptance of the application.

(2) The Court decision shall be subject to appeal before Sofia Court of Appeal.

(3) Sofia Court of Appeal shall issue a decision within the term under par. 1. The decision shall be final.

 

 

Art. 22k. (new – SG 59.07, in force from 24.07.2007) (1) Pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter recognition and enforcement of a decision for exercising of parental rights can be claimed, adjudicated after child’s removal, provided that by this decisions the removal has been announced unlawful.

(2) Recognition and enforcement of a decision of another state – a party to the Luxemburg Convention, shall be rejected in cases under Art. 8 and 9, provided that the provisions of Art. 10, par. 1 of the Convention exist.

(3) Recognition and enforcement of the decision shall be allowed only where and to the extend it is enforceable in the state, in which it has been passed.

 

 

Art. 22l. (new – SG 59/07, in force from 24.07.2007) Unless there are special rules for these proceedings, the rules of the general action proceedings set in the Civil Procedure Code shall apply.

 

 

Art. 22m. (new – SG 59/07, in force from 24.07.2007) The rules of this Chapter shall apply respectively also with regard to the Convention of 1996 concerning recognition and enforcement of decisions of foreign courts and of other foreign bodies.

 

Chapter four.
CHILD PROTECTION MEASURES

Protection Measures in Family Environment

Art. 23. The protection measures in family environment shall be:

1. ensuring pedagogic, psychological and legal support to the parents or to the persons to whom parent's functions have been assigned for problems connected with the upbringing, tuition and training of children;

2. (amend. - SG 38/06) directing to appropriate social services in the community;

3. (suppl. – SG 14/09) consulting and informing children in compliance with their age degree of development;

4. (amend. – SG 14/09) consulting and assistance on issues related to social support and social services;

5. (amend. – SG 14/09) cooperation in improvement of the social-household conditions;

6. social work for easing the connections between the parents and the children and coping with conflicts and critical situations in their relations;

7. investigation of the individual opportunities and interests of the child and direction to appropriate educational establishment;

8. cooperation for employment at appropriate work of those in need over 16 years of age under the conditions established by the employment legislation;

9. direction of the child to appropriate forms for engaging his free time;

10. cooperation with the adopters in their preparation for implementing parent functions, the very adoption as well as in protecting the rights of the child at termination of the adoption;

11. (new – SG 14/09) providing assistance to persons who take care of children – in preparation and performance of their functions.

 

 

Conceding of Protection Measures in Family Environment

Art. 24. (1) (amend. SG 120/02; amend. - SG 14/09) Protection measures as per Art. 23 shall be undertaken by directorate "Social support" upon request by the parents, guardians, custodians or the persons taking care of the child or by the child itself, as well as at discretion of the directorate "Social support" and shall be carried out by providers of social services or by directorate "Social support".

(2) The protection measures under para 1 can be conceded in combination with other measures protection measures under this Act.

 

 

Grounds for accommodation out of the family

Art. 25. (1) (amend., SG 36/03; prev. text of Art. 25 – SG 14/05) It shall be possible to be accommodated out of the family a child:

1. whose parents are dead, are unknown, have been deprived from parental rights or whose parental rights have been restricted;

2. (suppl. – SG 14/09) whose parents, guardians or custodians do not take care for the child without good reason;

3. (suppl. – SG 14/09) whose parents, guardians or custodians are permanently unable to up-bring him;

4. who is a victim of violence in the family and there is a serious danger of harming his physical, psychic, moral, intellectual and social development.

5. (new – SG 59/07, in force from 24.07.2007) in cases under Art. 11 of the Convention of 1996.

6. (new - SG 28/11) whose parents, guardians or custodians have consented or refuse to terminate its participation in a programme in the sense of the Radio and Television Act, which threatens its physical, mental, moral and/or social development.

(2) (new – SG 14/09) Accommodation of a child outside the family shall be the last possible protection measure in case all other protection possibilities within the family have been exhausted, unless immediate taking out of the family is needed.

 

 

Accommodation out of the family

Art. 26. (1) (amend. SG 120/02; suppl., SG 36/03) The accommodation of a child in the family of relatives or friends as well as the accommodation of a child for bringing him up in receptive family, resident social service or specialised institution shall be implemented by the court. Till the decision of the court the directorate "Social support" at the permanent address of the child shall implement temporary accommodation by administrative order.

(2) (amend. SG 120/02; amend. - SG 38/06) The request for the measures of para 1 before the court shall be made by the directorate "Social support", the prosecutor or the parent before the district court.

(3) (new – SG 14/09) The accommodation request made by directorate "Social support" shall be accompanied by:

1. a report by directorate "Social support" at the present address of the child;

2. declarations by relatives and friends of the child in the cases of Art. 27, para 3;

3. excerpt from the register of the directorate "Social support" regarding the entered therein adoptive parents ready to accept children for accommodation.

(4) (new – SG 14/09) In case the request has been made by a prosecutor or a parent, the court shall require from directorate "Social support" the documents specified in para 3 ex officio.

(5) (new – SG 14/09) Accommodation of a child along with a parent as a social service shall be carried out by a direction from directorate "Social support".

 

 

Temporary accommodation by administrative order

Art. 27. (1) (amend. SG 120/02; amend. - SG 38/06; suppl. – SG 14\09) The accommodation of a child in a family of relatives or friends, foster family, resident social service or specialized institution shall be done with an order of the director of the directorate "Social support" at the present address of the child.

(2) (new - SG 38/06; amend. – SG 14\09) In a period of one month from issuing the order referred to in para 1 the directorate "Social Support" shall submit a request for accommodation by court to the district court at the permanent address of:

1. the child – in case immediate measures have been undertaken;

2. the parents – in all other cases.

(3) (prev. text of para 02, amend. - SG 38/06; amend. – SG 14\09) In the cases of accommodation at family of relatives or friends shall be taken the consent of the person with whom the child shall be accommodated and the suitability of the latter shall be considered. The consent of the person providing accommodation shall be expressed in a declaration in a form.

(4) (new – SG 14/09) If the relatives or friends do not agree to take care of the child, the refusal shall be verified by a declaration in a form.

(5) (prev. text of para 03, amend. - SG 38/06; prev. text of para 4, amend. – SG 14/09; amend. – SG 32/12, in force from 24.04.2012) In the cases of accommodation in foster family the accommodation shall be implemented after a check of the fitness of the persons candidates for foster family. After accommodation by administrative order shall be concluded a contract between the foster family and the supplier of the social service "adoptive care" at the present address of the foster family.

(6) (amend. - SG 30/06, in force from 12.07.2006; prev. text of para 04 - SG 38/06; prev. text of para 5 – SG 14/09) The acts of the directorate "Social support" shall be issued and appealed against according to the Administrative Procedure Code.

 

 

Accommodation by court order

Art. 28. (1) (amend. SG 120/02; suppl., SG 36/03; amend. - SG 38/06; amend. and suppl. – SG 14\09) The requests for accommodation of a child in family of relatives or friends, foster family, resident social services or specialized institution shall be of the competence of the district court at the present address of the child.

(2) (New – SG 14/09) In the course of the proceedings under para 1 the court may take evidence on its own initiative.

(3) (suppl. - SG 38/06; prev. text of para 2 – SG 14/09) The court shall consider immediately the request in an open session with the participation of the bodies or the persons who have made the request and with the participation of the child observing the provisions of art. 15.

(4) (prev. text of para 3 – SG 14/09) The court shall decide in one month term with a decision which is announced to the parties and is executed immediately. Determining the child protection measures the court shall follow the consequence of art. 26, para 1 except if his is not in the interest of the child.

(5) (new - SG 38/06; prev. text of para 4 – SG 14/09) The decision referred to in para 4 shall indicate the period of accommodation.

(6) (prev. text of para 04 - SG 38/06; prev. text of para 5 – SG 14/09) The decision shall be subject to an appeal before the regional court in seven days term. In case there is submitted appeal or protest the court shall fix the time for the procedure within one week. The regional court shall take a decision which is ultimate.

(7) (prev. text of para 05 - SG 38/06; prev. text of para 6 – SG 14/09) The court can change the determined measure of art. 26, para 2 if this is in the interest of the child.

 

 

Grounds for termination of the accommodation

Art. 29. The accommodation out of the family shall be terminated:

1. at breaking the contract;

2. at the elapse of the term;

3. at mutual agreement of the parties in the contract;

4. with the adoption of the child;

5. (suppl. – SG 14/09) with the child turning major age, and in case he/she is studying – till completion of secondary education, however not after reaching the age of 20;

6. (suppl. – SG 14/09) with falling away of the grounds of art. 25, para 1;

7. with the death of the spouses or the person of the foster family;

8. at change of the measure for protection;

9. (new - SG 14/09) upon change of the circumstances in relation to the child, if it is in his/her interest;

10. (new - SG 38/06; prev. text of item 9 – SG 14/09) at death of the person(s) of the family of relatives or friends;

11. (new - SG 38/06; prev. text of item 10 – SG 14/09) at death of the child.

 

 

Order for termination of the accommodation

Art. 30. (1) (amend. SG 120/02; amend. - SG 38/06; amend. - SG 14/09) The accommodation shall be terminated by the district court at request by the foster family, the family of relatives or friends, the directorate "Social support", by the parents of the child or by the prosecutor except in the cases referred to in art. 29, items 4, 5, 7, 10 and 11.

(2) (amend. SG 120/02; amend. - SG 14/09) The termination of the accommodation can be done temporary by the directorate "Social support" till the decision of the court. In this case the directorate "Social support" can take decision about the future upbringing and tutoring of the child or undertake other temporary measure for protection if this is in the best interest of the child.

(3) The decision of the district court can be appealed against before the regional court. The appeal shall not stop the execution. The decision of the regional court shall be ultimate and shall not be subject to cassation appeal.

(4) The decision for termination of the accommodation shall be implemented by administrative order.

 

 

Change of the protection measure (New, SG 36/03)

Art. 30a. (new, SG 36/03; amend. - SG 38/06; amend. - SG 14/09) Upon change of the protection measure for the child according to art. 4, item 2, 4 – 6 the order of accommodation under art. 26 - 28 shall be observed.

 

 

Foster family

Art. 31. (amend. – SG 32/12, in force from 24.04.2012) (1) Foster family shall be two spouses or a separate person where is accommodated a child for upbringing and tutoring according to a contract of art. 27. The spouses or the person of the foster family shall not have any parental rights and obligations.

(2) The approval of the foster family candidates shall be carried out by the Adoptive Care Commission created at the regional social support directorate.

(3) The regional social support directorate shall keep a register of the approved foster families.

(4) The foster family may be professional and in this case it must also have additional qualification for raising children, acquired as set out in the ordinance under Para 6, and sign a contract with a supplier of "adoptive care" social service.

(5) The conditions and the order of financing the professional foster family shall be determined by the regulations for implementation of the Act.

(6) The conditions and the order of applying, selection and approval of accepting families and accommodation of children in them, as well as the composition, organisation and functions of the Adoptive Care Commission shall be determined by an ordinance of the Council of Ministers on proposal of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy.

 

 

Persons who cannot be candidates for foster family

Art. 32. Candidates for foster family cannot be persons:

1. who have not turned major age;

2. who are under interdict;

3. who have been deprived from parent's rights or which parent's rights have been restricted except this has been due the objective reasons and their parent's rights have been restored;

4. who cannot be guardians;

5. guardians or trustees as well as foster families removed from this activity due to guilty non fulfilment of obligations;

6. who are not fit to implement parent's functions due to lack of personal qualities for tutoring a child and of material conditions for upbringing and development of a child;

7. who are adopters at termination of the adoption due to their guilty conduct by the order of the Family Code;

8. (amend., SG 70/04) who suffer from AIDS and diseases under art. 61, para 1 and art. 146, para 1, item 1 and 2 of the Health Act;

9. (new - SG 38/06) convicted for deliberate crimes of general character;

10. (new - SG 38/06) who have been under criminal action for deliberate crime of general character.

 

 

Relations with the parents of origin

Art. 33. (1) (amend. - SG 38/06) The foster family and the family of relatives and friends shall be obliged to give information to the parents of the child and to cooperate for their personal relations with him. The district court shall decide about the regime with definition if such relations are in the interest of the child.

(2) (amend. SG 120/02; suppl. - SG 38/06) The definition of para 1 can be appealed against by the order of the Civil Procedures Code by the parents, the directorate "Social support", the family of relatives or friends or the foster family.

 

 

Expression of opinion

Art. 34. (amend. - SG 38/06) The foster family and the family of relatives or friends shall have right to express opinion before the taking of the decision referring to change of the child protection measure.

 

 

Adoptive care

Art. 34a. (1) (new - SG 38/06; prev. text of Art. 34a – SG 14/09; suppl. – SG 32/12, in force from 24.04.2012) Adoptive care, as a child protection measure under Art. 4, Para 1, shall mean caring and upbringing in family environment of a child accommodated in a family of relatives or friends or in a foster family.

(2) (new – SG 14/09; amend. – SG 32/12, in force from 24.04.2012) The families of relatives applying for a foster family and the approved foster families may be supported through the "adoptive care" social service.

(3) (new – SG 32/12, in force from 24.04.2012) The "adoptive care" social service shall include activities of finding and assessment of candidates for foster families, training, mutual adapting, support and monitoring of the raising of the child.

(4) (new – SG 32/12, in force from 24.04.2012) Supplier of the "adoptive care" social service may be the "Social Support" directorate, the municipality or a licenses social service supplier for children under Art. 43b.

 

 

Accommodation in specialised institutions

Art. 35. (1) (revoked, SG 36/03)

(2) (amend., SG 36/03) The accommodation of the children in specialised institutions shall be implemented only in the cases when the opportunities for accommodation of the children in family environment have been exhausted.

(3) (amend., SG 36/03) The establishments providing services in family environment shall not be considered specialised institutions.

 

 

Control

Art. 36. (amend. SG 120/02) The director of the directorate "Social support" shall exercise current control over the implementation of the undertaken measures.

 

 

Police protection

Art. 37. (1) The conceding of police protection for a child shall be accomplished by the specialised bodies of the Ministry of the Interior.

(2) (revoked – SG 14/09)

 

 

Grounds

Art. 38. (suppl. – SG 14/09) The police protection shall be an urgent measure which shall be undertaken when the child is:

1. (amend. – SG 14/09) subject to crimes or there is immediate danger for its health as well as when there is a danger to be involved in a crime;

2. (amend. – SG 14/09) lost or is in helpless status;

3. (amend. – SG 14/09) left without supervision.

 

 

Police Protection Measures

Art. 39. (1) The specialised bodies of the Ministry of the Interior can:

1. accommodate the child in special premises not admitting contact with persons which could have harmful impact over him;

2. (suppl. – SG 14/09) accommodate the child in specialised institutions or provide resident social services and ensure its guard if necessary;

3. (amend. – SG 14/09) give the child back to his parents or to the persons taking care of it.

(2) The specialised bodies of para 1 shall acquaint and explain to the child the undertaken measures and the grounds for them in a way understandable for them.

(3) (new - SG 38/06) The bodies referred to in para 1 may implement checks at receipt of information and signals for presence of the circumstances referred to in art. 38.

 

 

Notification

Art. 40. The police bodies undertaken the protection shall immediately notify:

1. (suppl. – SG 14/09) the parents of the child, guardians, custodians or the persons taking care of the child;

2. (amend. SG 120/02) the directorate "Social support" in which region the protection has been undertaken;

3. (amend. SG 120/02; amend., SG 36/03) the directorate "Social support" at the permanent address of the child;

4. the prosecutor's office;

5. (new – SG 14/09) the district directorate of the ministry of Interior at the present address of the child.

 

 

Term

Art. 41. (amend., SG 36/03; amend. – SG 14/09) Police protection shall be provided for not more than 48 hours.

 

 

Searching of the disappeared child

Art. 42. The actions for searching of the disappeared child shall be undertaken immediately.

 

 

Ordinance

Art. 43. The conditions and the order for conceding police protection shall be provided with ordinance issued by the Minister of Interior after co-ordination with the State Agency for Child Protection.

 

 

Specialised protection of children in public places (new, SG 36/03)

Art. 43a. (new, SG 36/03; revoked – SG 14/09)

 

Chapter four "a".
LICENSING (new, SG 36/03; in force from January 1, 2004)

Licence

Art. 43b. (new, SG 36/03, in force from 01.01.2004, amend. – SG 8/16) (1) Persons under Art. 18, para. 1, item 3 and 4 of the Social Support Act may provide social services for children after obtaining a licence, issued by the chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection on proposal by a licensing commission, composed of representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Social policy, Ministry of education and science, Ministry of health, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of youth and sports, the State Agency for child protection, the Agency for Social assistance and the Agency for persons with disabilities.

(2) The licence is personal and the rights arising from it shall not be transferable and assignable.

(3) The licence shall contain:

1. the holder of the license;

2. (amend. - SG 17/18) BULSTAT code/unified identification code;

3. address/headquarters and management address;

4. social service for which the licence is issued;

5. the validity of the license.

(4) A licence shall be issued for each social service for a period of three years and after its expiration it can be renewed.

(5) For examining the documents to issue a licence for provision of social services for children and renewing an issued licence, fees shall be due and paid to the Social protection fund of the Minister of Labour and Social Policy, and spent purposefully for the activities to do with child protection.

(6) For considering the documents to issue and renew a licence, fees shall be collected according to a tariff, approved by the Council of Ministers on a proposal by the chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection.

Terms of issuance of a licence (new, SG 36/03)

Art. 43c. (1) (new - SG 36/03, in force from 01.01.2004, amend. - SG 38/06, previous Art. 43c - SG 8/16) The licence shall be issued when the applicant:

1. (amend. - SG 38/06, in force from 01.01.2007) is a person under Art. 18, para. 1, item 3 or 4 of the Social Support Act;

2. is not bankrupt or is not in bankruptcy proceedings;

3. is not in liquidation;

4. has not been convicted of a crime of public nature, where for legal entities this requirement applies to members of their governing bodies;

5. (amend. - SG 63/03) provides social services which meet the standards laid down in the ordinance of Art. 4, para. 3.

(2) (new - SG 8/16, amend. - SG 17/18) To obtain a licence, persons under Art. 18, para. 1, item 3 and 4 of the Social Support Act shall submit to the chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection an application and a description of the social service according to approved forms and indicate a single identification code or BULSTAT code.

(3) (new - SG 8/16, revoked - SG 17/18)

(4) (new - SG 8/16, amend. - SG 17/18)To the application under para. 2 the persons under Art. 18, para. 1, item 4 of the Social Support Act shall present a legalized translation into Bulgarian of:

1. the documents certifying the registration under their national law;

2. a declaration that the applicant is not declared insolvent, is not in bankruptcy proceedings and is not in liquidation;

3. a certificate, that the person has not been convicted - for foreign citizens, and for legal entities this requirement applies to members of their governing bodies;

(5) (new - SG 8/16, amend. - SG 85/17) The documents under para. 2 shall be submitted in person or by an authorized person with a notarized power of attorney, by registered mail or in accordance with the Electronic Document and Electronic Trust Services Act.

(6) (new - SG 103/17, in force from 01.01.2018) The circumstances under para. 1, item 4 for Bulgarian citizens and legal entities shall be established ex officio by the State Agency for Child Protection.

Licensing commission (Title amend. - SG 38/06, amend. - SG 8/16)

Art. 43d. (new - SG 36/03, in force from 01.01.2004, amend. - SG 8/16) (1) The commission under Art. 43b, para. 1 shall:

1. examine the submitted applications for issuance and renewal of licences and the notifications of change of circumstances, certified for in an issued licence;

2. notify applicants with established irregularity in the documents and provide instructions for its removal;
3. make reasoned proposals to the chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection to issue, change, renew, suspend, revoke, cancel or refuse a licence.

(2) Members of the Commission shall be suggested by the respective state authorities under Art. 43b, para. 1, and shall be approved individually by the chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection.

(3) The Commission chairperson shall convene meetings according to the submitted applications and notifications, and shall inform members about scheduled meetings, which are valid if attended by two thirds of all its members. For commission meetings minutes shall be kept.

(4) The Commission shall examine the applications and notifications, discuss and decide by open vote by a majority of two thirds of its members present. If necessary, the Commission may request opinions from other specialists in the field of child protection.

(5) For the activities of the Commission shall be kept:

1. a register for the submitted applications;

2. a protocol book;

3. a register of licences issued;

4. a register of registration certificates, received by the Social Support Agency, issued under the Social Support Act.

(6) The register under para. 5, item 3 shall include:

1. the information under Art. 43b, para. 3;

2. the number and date of the licence issued;

3. the date of granting the licence and signature of the recipient;

4. the date of renewal, suspension, cancellation or revocation of the licence.

(7) The presented documents under Art. 43c shall be stored in the State Agency for Child Protection according to the National Archive Fund Act and shall be available to all interested parties.

(8) The activity of the commission shall be administratively supported by the State Agency for Child Protection.

Licence Issuance (Title amend. - SG 38/06, amend. - SG 8/16)

Art. 43e. (new - SG 36/03, in force from 01.01.2004, amend. - SG 38/06, amend. - SG 8/16) (1) Within one month of receipt of the application for a licence, the chairperson of the State Agency for child protection on the proposal of the Commission under Art. 43b, para. 1, shall issue a licence or refuse to issue one if the applicant does not meet the conditions, set out in Art. 43c, para. 1 and/or has not supplied any of the documents under Art. 43c, para. 2 in the specified time limit.

(2) The Commission under Art. 43b, para. 1 shall examine the applications in the order of their receipt.

(3) The chairperson of the Commission under Art. 43b, para. 1, within three days of considering of the application shall notify the applicant for identified irregularities in the documents under Art. 43c, para. 2, giving instructions for its removal within 14 days. In this case, the one month period under para. 1 shall be suspended from the date of dispatch of the notice till removal, but no more than 30 days.

(4) The chairperson of the Commission under Art. 43b, para. 1 shall make a reasoned proposal to the chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection to issue or refuse the issuance of a licence within three days of examination of the application.

(5) The order of the chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection to issue or to refuse to issue a licence shall be communicated in writing to the applicant within three days from its date of issue. The refusal shall be subject to appeal under the Administrative Procedure Code.

(6) The licence shall be issued according to a form, approved by the chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection.

(7) If the issued licence is lost or destroyed, the chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection, at the written request of the person under Art. 18, para. 1, items 3 and 4 of the Social Assistance Act, may issue a duplicate licence.

(8) In case of change in circumstances, certified in the issued licence, the provider of social services for children shall notify in writing the chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection within 14 days of the occurrence of the change and shall enclose the relevant documents proving it.

(9) Based on an order by the chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection, the changed circumstance under para. 8 shall be reflected in a new licence, without change in its term.

(10) The granted licence and the registration certificate pursuant to Art. 18b, para. 3 and Art. 18c, para. 4 of the Social Support Act shall be obtained at the State Agency for Child Protection within one month from the date the licence has been issued, personally by the person, who represents the persons under Art. 18, para. 1, items 3 and 4, or by an authorized person with a notarized power of attorney, and in case of an explicit statement, both shall be sent to the address for correspondence, given in the application and/or to the address, to which the applicant is registered, in a letter with acknowledgment of receipt.

 

 

Obligations of the licensed provider of social services for children (Title amend. - SG 8/16)

Art. 43f. (new - SG 36/03, in force from 01.01.2004, amend. - SG 30/06, in force from 12.07.2006, amend. - SG 38/06, amend. - SG 8/16) (1) The licensed provider of social services for children shall be obliged to, within 12 months of receiving the licence, start business of providing the service.

(2) Within 14 days of the commencement of operations in providing the service, the licensed provider is obliged to inform in writing the chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection on:

1. the date of commencement of the activity of providing the service for which it is licensed;

2. the address/addresses where the service is provided, with the exception of mobile services, where a mailing address for correspondence shall be stated.

(3) In case where the licensed provider of social services for children ceases its activity for a period longer than three months, they must, within 14 days of their expiry, notify the chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection of the occurred circumstance, stating the reasons.

(4) Upon occurrence of changes in circumstances, certified by the documents under Art. 43c, the provider of social services for children shall be required, within 14 days, to notify in writing the chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection and to submit the relevant document.

(5) Each year until March 31, the licensed providers shall present to the State Agency for Child Protection in electronic format a report on their activities, relating to the provision of social service for children performed by them, for the previous calendar year.

(6) The report under para. 5 shall contain summary information on the results achieved in working with the service’s users.

 

 

Licence Renewal (Title amend. - SG 8/16)

Art. 43g. (new - SG 36/03, in force from 01.01.2004, amend. - SG 38/06, amend. - SG 51/11, amend. - SG 8/16) (1) Before the expiry of the term of the licence for provision of social services for children, the service provider may ask for renewal of the licence when:

1. they intend to continue to provide the said service after the expiry of the three-year term of the licence, and they meet the requirements of Art. 43c, para. 1;

2. upon checks under Art. 17a, para. 1, item 14 and/or 16, it has been found that there are no mandatory instructions issued to remove established violations of the rights of the child and/or to provide the service or to carry out the prescriptions conscientiously, as well as there have not been issued punitive decisions to imposed acts for violations under Art. 45, para. 5-12;

3. they have provided current reports on their activities within the period of validity of the licence.

(2) (amend. - SG 103/17, in force from 01.01.2018, amend. - SG 17/18) In the cases under para. 1, providers of social services for children shall submit an application form, approved by the chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection, and if they are persons under Art. 18, para. 1, item 4 of the Social Support Act, they shall also apply the documents under Art. 43c, para. 4 not later than one month prior to the expiry date of the licence.

(3) (amend. - SG 103/17, in force from 01.01.2018, revoked - SG 17/18)

(4) The applications, submitted after the deadline under par. 2, shall not be considered by the Commission under Art. 43b, para. 1, and the applicant shall be informed of the need to apply for a new licence under Art. 43c.

(5) In cases where there is no change in circumstances, certified in the previously issued licence, a new licence shall be issued, based on an order of the chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection, where the application under para. 2 shall not be considered by the Commission under Art. 43b, para. 1.

(6) When there is a change of circumstances, certified in the issued licence, the renewal of the licence shall be done on an order of the chairperson of the State Agency for Child Protection under Art. 43e.

(7) The order for refusal to renew the licence shall be subject to appeal under the Administrative Procedure Code.

Suspension, revoking or cancellation of a licence (title amend. - SG 8/16)

Art. 43h. (new - SG 36/03, in force from 01.01.2004, amend. - SG 38/06, in force from 01.01.2007 on the word "Persons", amend. - SG 8/16) (1) The chairperson of the State Agency for child protection on a proposal by the Commission under Art. 43b, para. 1, with an order, shall suspend, revoke and cancel an issued licence for provision of social services for children.

(2) An issued licence for the provision of social services for children shall be suspended when the holder:

1. has requested its suspension in writing in an application, in which has given reasoning for the suspension;

2. fails to start providing the service within 12 months of receiving the licence;

3. within the term of Art. 43f, para. 2 has not notified the chairperson of the State Agency for child protection for launching the activity of providing the service for which it is licensed;

4. within the term of Art. 43f, para. 2 has not notified the chairperson of the State Agency for child protection for the address/addresses of providing the service for which it is licensed - in cases where applicable.

(3) An issued licence for the provision of social services for children shall be revoked when the holder:

1. fails to comply with standards for provision of social services for children;

2. carries out activities in violation of the issued licence;

3. has not fulfilled within deadline a mandatory instruction, issued by the chairperson of the State Agency for child protection;

4. (amend. - SG 17/18) fails to fulfill the obligations under Art. 43e, para. 8 and Art. 43e, para. 4;

5. has ceased the provision of social services for more than three months without good cause shown, leading to the suspension of activity;

6. until 31 March of the calendar year has not submitted a written report on his/her activities in the service for the previous calendar year.

(4) A new licence for the specific social service for children may be issued after one year has passed of licence's revoking.

(5) An issued licence for the provision of social services for children may be cancelled if the licensed supplier of the particular social service, within three months from the date of issuance of the licence, has not appeared to receive the documents under Art. 43e, para. 10 and/or has not declared to receive them in another way. Non-receipt of documents under Art. 43e, para. 10 shall be certified by the chairperson of the Commission under Art. 43b, para. 1, who shall note this circumstance of a returned letter and acknowledgment of receipt.

(6) At the suggestion of the Commission under Art. 43b, para. 1, the chairman of the State Agency for child protection shall give the provider of social services for children adequate time to correct the violation under para. 2, items 3 and 4, or para. 3, but not more than three months. If within this period of time the violation has not been remedied, the licence shall be suspended, respectively revoked.

(7) The order under para. 1 shall be communicated to parties concerned within three days after the date of issue. The order shall be subject to appeal under the Administrative Procedure Code.

Interaction between the State Agency for child protection, the Social Support Agency and the Social Protection Fund

Art. 43i. (new - SG 8/16) (1) The chairperson of the State Agency for child protection, within three days of the entry into force of the respective order, shall send to the Executive Director of the Social Support Agency a copy of the issued, renewed and amended licences for social services for children and the related information under Art. 18b, para. 6, item 1-5 of the Social Support Act, as well as a copy of the issued orders for suspension, revocation and cancellation of licences in order to record these circumstances in the register under the Social Support Act and to issue, renew, re-issue and cancel certificates of registration.

(2) The Social Suppoprt Agency shall enter in the register under the Social Support Act the circumstances under par. 1 within 5 days of their submission by the State Agency for child protection.

(3) The Executive Director of the Social Support Agency shall send to the chairperson of the State Agency for child protection the issued, renewed and/or re-issued certificates of registration within three days of their issuance.

(4) Each year until April 30 of the calendar year, the chairperson of the State Agency for child protection shall send to the Executive Director of the Social Support Agency the reports, presented in accordance with Art. 43f, para. 5, on the activities of the licensed providers related to the social services for children that they offer, for the previous calendar year.

(5) The Executive Director of the Social Protection Fund shall send to the chaisrperson of the State Agency for child protection a list of names for the fees paid for the examination of documents for issuance and renewal of licences under Art. 43b, para. 5, within three days of their receipt in the Fund.

Chapter five.
FINANCING OF THE ACTIVITIES RELATED TO CHILD PROTECTION

Sources of financing

Art. 44. (amend., SG 36/03) The activities related to child protection shall be financed by:

1. (amend. SG 15/13, in force from 01.01.2014) the state budget;

2. the municipal budgets;

3. national and international programmes and agreements in the sphere of the child care;

4. donations by local and foreign individuals and corporate bodies;

5. (amend. - SG 51/11) Social Protection Fund;

6. other sources.

(2) (amend. - SG 38/06) Directorate "Social support" of the Agency for social support shall provide financial support and/or in form of social investments under conditions and by an order determined by the regulations for implementation of the Act.

(3) (amend. - SG 38/06) The support referred to in para 2 shall be granted by the director of directorate "Social support" of the Agency for social support by a written permit.

(4) The financial support is expedient resources in cash and it shall be:

1. one-time;

2. monthly.

(5) (amend. - SG 38/06) The social investments shall be expressed in providing goods and/or services related to the bringing up and education of the child.

(6) (amend. - SG 38/06) The support under para 2 shall be designated for support of the child and the family for prevention and re-integration, bringing up of the child by families of relatives or friends and by foster families.

(7) The support under para 2 shall be exempt from taxes and fees and no deductions shall be made from them.

 

 

Fund "Child support" (new, SG 63/03)

Art. 44a. (new, SG 63/03, revoked – SG 115/04)

 

Chapter six.
ADMINISTRATIVE - PUNITIVE PROVISIONS

Sanctions

Art. 45. (1) (new - SG 38/06; amend. – SG 14/09) Whoever sells alcoholic drinks or tobacco products to children shall be punished with a fine or propriety sanction of 2000 to 4000 levs if not subject to graver administrative penalty under special Act and if the action does not constitute a crime. In case of repeated offence shall be undertaken measures of compulsion in order to suspend the activity for a certain period, not longer than a year.

(2) (new - SG 38/06; amend. – SG 14/09; amend. – SG 42/10, in force from 02.06.2010; amend. – SG 40/12, in force from 01.06.2012) Who lets a child in a trade establishment managed by him between 22.00 and 6.00 in violation of Art. 8, Para 3 and 4 shall be punished with a fine or propriety sanction of 2000 to 5000 levs, and in case of repeated offence - a fine or propriety sanction of 5000 to 8000 levs.

(3) (new - SG 38/06; suppl. – SG 42/10, in force from 02.06.2010; amend. – SG 40/12, in force from 01.06.2012) A parent, guardian, custodian or person taking care of a child who violates of art. 8, para 3 or a parent, guardian, custodian or person taking care of a child who does not provide adult able person as a companion as per Art. 8, para 4 shall be punished with a fine or propriety sanction of 300 to 500 levs, and in case of repeated offence - 500 to 1000 levs.

(4) (new - SG 14/09) A person taking care of a child, who in violation of Art. 8, para 7, leaves a child under 12 years of age without taking good care of it, and by doing that exposes to danger its physical, mental and moral development, 4 shall be punished with a fine of 1000 to 2000 levs, and in case of repeated offence - a fine from 2000 to 5000 levs, if not subject to a graver administrative penalty under a special Act and the deed does not constitute a crime.

(5) (new - SG 38/06; prev, text of para 4 – SG 14/09) Whoever provides social services without a license shall be punished with a fine or propriety sanction of 2500 to 10 000 levs.

(6) (amend., SG 36/03; prev. text of para 01, amend. and suppl. - SG 38/06; prev, text of para 5, amend. – SG 14/09) Whoever does not fulfil an obligation under this Act except in the cases referred to in paras 1 - 5, if not subject to graver administrative penalty under a special Act or if the action does not constitute a crime, shall be punished with a fine from 500 to 1000 levs for first offence and 1000 to 2000 levs for repeated offence.

(7) (amend., SG 36/03; prev. text of para 02, amend. - SG 38/06; prev, text of para 6, amend. – SG 14/09) An official who fails to fulfil his/her obligations, shall be fined in extent from 500 to 1000 levs for first offence and from 1000 to 2000 levs for repeated offence if he/she is not subject to a graver administrative penalty under a special Act and the deed does not constitute a crime.

(8) (new – SG 14/09) An official in a specialized institution, or engaged in a resident social service or social services within the Community, who does not fulfil obligation under this Act, shall be punished with a fine from 500 to 1000 levs – for first offence and from 1000 to 2000 levs for repeated offence if he/she is not subject to a graver administrative penalty under a special Act and the deed does not constitute a crime.

(9 (new – SG 14/09) Whoever does not follow an obligatory prescription under this Act shall be punished by a fine or propriety sanction from 2000 to 5000 levs, and in case of repeated offence - by a fine or propriety sanction from 5000 to 10 000 levs.

(10) (new – SG 14/09) A managing body of a specialized institution, of a resident social service or social service within the Community who does not fulfil obligation under this Act, shall be punished with a fine amounting to 5000 levs – for first offence and from 5000 to 10 000 levs for repeated offence if he/she is not subject to a graver administrative penalty under a special Act and the deed does not constitute a crime.

(11) (new – SG 14/09) A person, who in violation of Art. 7, para 1 and 2 does not inform directorate "Social support", the State Agency for Child Protection or the Ministry of Interior of the necessity of child protection, shall be punished with a fine amounting from 1000 to 2000 levs for first offence and from 2000 to 5000 levs for repeated offence if he/she is not subject to a graver administrative penalty under a special Act and the deed does not constitute a crime.

(12) (new – SG 14/09; amend. - SG 28/11) A person, who in violation of Art. 11a discloses information and data concerning child personality, shall be punished by a fine from 1000 to 3000 levs, respectively a property sanction between 3000 and 5000 levs, and in cases of repeated violation - with fine between 3000 and 5000 levs, respectively a property sanction between 5000 and 10 000 levs, unless subject to a graver administrative penalty under a special Act and the deed does not constitute a crime.

(13) (new – SG 47/09, in force from 01.10.2009) An official, who has failed to fulfill any obligation under Art. 27, par. 2, unless subject to a heavier administrative penalty under a special Act or the deed does not constitute a crime, shall be punished by a fine from 1000 to 2000 levs for the first violation, and from 1500 to 3000 levs in case of a repeated violation.

(14) (new – SG 59/10) Any parents, guardian, custodian or other persons taking care of a child, who violate Art. 8, Para 9 shall be imposed a fine between BGN 250 and 500 for first offence, and for repeated offence – fine between BGN 500 and 1000.

(15) (new - SG 28/11) Any parent, guardian, custodian or another person who is taking care of a child, who in breach of Art. 8, Para 10 allows the participation of a child in a programme in the sense of the Radio and Television Act, which threatens its physical, mental, moral and/or social development, shall be fined between 1000 and 2000 levs, and in cases of repeated violation - between 2000 and 5000 levs, if not liable to a more severe administrative penalty under a special Act or the act does not qualify as a crime.

 

 

Income from imposed sanctions

Art. 45a. (new - SG 38/06; suppl. – SG 14/09) Earnings from fines and property sanctions imposed according to this Act shall go into Centre "Fund for treatment of children" at the Minister of Health, who shall annually submit to the National Assembly a report on the income and expenditures of the fund.

 

 

Procedure

Art. 46. (amend. – SG 14/09) (1) The offences referred to in para 45, paras 1 - 4 shall be established with an act by the police, and the punitive decree shall be issued by the director of the district directorate of the Ministry of Interior or by an authorized official.

(2) (amend. - SG 59/10; amend. - SG 28/11) The offences referred to in art. 45, paras 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14 and 15 shall be established by an employee of the Chief Directorate "Control of the Rights of Children", and the punitive decision shall be issued by the chairman of the State Agency for Child Protection or an official authorized by him.

(3) (suppl. – SG 47/09, in force from 01.10.2009) The offences under art. 45, para 7 and 13 shall be established:

1. those committed by an official from directorate "Social support" - by an act of an inspector from the Agency for social support and the penal provisions shall be issued by the executive director of the Agency for social support or by an official authorised by him;

2. those committed by other officials – by an act of an employee of Chief Directorate "Control of the Rights of Children" of the State Agency for Child Protection and the penal provisions shall be issued by the by the chairman of the State Agency for Child Protection or by an authorised official.

(4) Offences under Art. 45, para 9 shall be established:

1. by an act of social worker from directorate "Social support" – as regards to failure to follow obligatory prescriptions as per Art. 21, para 1, item 3, and the punitive decision shall be issued by the director of directorate "Social support" or by an authorised official;

2. by an act of an employee of Chief Directorate "Control of the Rights of Children" of the State Agency for Child Protection – as regards to failure to follow obligatory prescriptions as per Art. 17a, items 14 - 16, and the punitive decision shall be issued by the chairman of the State Agency for Child Protection or by an authorised official.

(5) (new - SG 38/06) Upon establishing offences the persons referred to in paras 2 through 4may require assistance from the police bodies of the Ministry of Interior.

(6) The acts for establishing breaches and the punitive decisions shall be compiled and appealed against by the order of the Administrative Offences and Sanctions.

 

Additional provisions

§ 1. In the sense of this Act:

1. (new, SG 36/03) "Child protection" is a system of legislative, administrative and other measures for guaranteeing the rights of every child.

2. (new – SG 14/09) "Pieces of information and data concerning a child’s personality" means any information about the child within the meaning of the Protection of Personal Data Act.

3. (new – SG 14/09) "Other persons taking care of a child" means a family that are close friends or relatives or foster family with whom the child is staying according to Art. 26, as well as other persons with whom is staying at present address.

4. (new – SG 14/09) "Single phone number with national coverage for the purposes of informing, consulting and helping children" is a unified number of social significance with scope 116 for the purpose of rendering help to children accessible by means of free of charge phone number.

5. (new – SG 14/09) "The best interest of the child" is an assessment of:

a) the child’s feelings and desires;

b) the physical, mental and emotional needs of the child;

c) the age, sex, past and other specific features of the child;

d) the danger or damage that has been done or is likely to be caused to the child;

e) the ability of the parents to take care of the child;

f) the consequences for the child upon change of the circumstances;

g) other things of importance to the child.

6. (new – SG 14/09) "Care" means all actions ensuing from the rights and obligations of the parents, guardians, custodians and the other persons with whom the child is staying on another legal ground, aimed at guaranteeing the child’s rights and protection of its interests;

7. (prev. item 1 - SG 36/03; prev. text of item 2 – SG 14/09) "Family environment" is the biologic family of the child or the family of the adopters, the grand mother and the grand father or the close friends of the child or the foster family where the child is accommodated by the order of art. 26.

8. (prev. item 2 - SG 36/03; amend. - SG 38/06; prev. text of item 3 – SG 14/09) "Services" in the sense of art. 23 shall be the social services provided in the community under the Social Support Act.

9. (prev. item 3 - SG 36/03; revoked – SG 38/06; prev. text of item 4 – SG 14/09)

10. (prev. item 4 - amend. SG 36/03; prev. text of item 5 – SG 14/09) "Specialised institutions" are boarding house establishments for upbringing and tutoring of children where they are permanently separated from their home environment.

11. (prev. item 5 - SG 36/03; prev. text of item 6, amend. – SG 14/09) "A child in risk" is a child:

a) whose parents are unknown, have passed away or have been deprived from parental rights or whose parental rights are restricted, or the child has been left without their care;

b) who is a victim of misuse, violence, exploitation or any other not humane or humiliating attitude or punishment within or out of his family;

c) for which there is a danger for impeding his physical, psychic, moral, intellectual or social development;

d) who suffers from damages as well as from difficult for healing diseases, diagnosed by an expert;

e) regarding whom there is a risk of dropping out of school, or who has already dropped out of school.

12. (prev. item 6 - SG 36/03 ; prev. text of item 7 – SG 14/09) "Gifted child" is a child who has shown durable abilities and achievements in the field of science, art or sport exceeding the achievements of his mates at the same age.

13. (new, SG 36/03; prev. text of item 8, amend. – SG 14/09) "Prevention" is a child protection through providing information, assistance, support and services.

14. (new, SG 36/03; prev. text of item 9, amend. – SG 14/09) "Re-integration" is a process of permanent return of the child from accommodation outside the family according to art. 4, items 2, 4 - 6 to his biological family or adoption.

15. (new, SG 36/03; prev. text of item 10 – SG 14/09) "Present address of a child" is the address of stay of the child;

16. (new - SG 38/06; prev. text of item 11 – SG 14/09) "Repeated offence" means offence committed within a period of one year from entering into force of the penal decision for punishing the violator for the same kind of offence.

17. (new – SG 14/09) "Specialised protection in public places" means establishing conditions that do not threaten the physical, mental and moral development of children.

18. (new – SG 14/09) "Suitability" means material standing and personal qualities of the person taking care of a child.

 

Transitional and concluding provisions

§ 2. The Council of Ministers shall in six months term after the Act enters into force create with a decree State Agency for Child Protection under the conditions and by the order of the Administration Act. The financing of art. 44, items 1 and 2 shall be imlemente3d from January 1, 2001.

 

 

§ 3. Within six months of the entry into force of the Act, the secondary legislative acts provided for in it shall be issued by the state bodies referred to in the relevant provisions.

 

 

§ 4. The implementation of this Act shall be assigned to the Council of Ministers.

The Act was passed by the 38th National Assembly on May 31, 2000 and was affixed with the official seal of the National Assembly.

 

Concluding provisions
(SG 36/03)

§ 32. The Minister of Justice, the Minister of Labour and Social Policy, the Minister of Education and Science, the Minister of Health and the Minister of Interior shall bring the acts of secondary legislation issued by them in compliance with the provisions of this Act within 6 months from its enactment.

 

 

§ 33. The Council of Ministers shall adopt regulations for the implementation of the Act within 6 months from the enactment of this Act.

 

Transitional and concluding provisions
TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE CODE

(PROM. – SG 30/06, IN FORCE FROM 12.07.2006)

 

§ 142. The code shall enter into force three months after its promulgation in State Gazette, with the exception of:

1. division three, § 2, item 1 and § 2, item 2 – with regards to the repeal of chapter third, section II "Appeal by court order", § 9, item 1 and 2, § 15 and § 44, item 1 and 2, § 51, item 1, § 53, item 1, § 61, item 1, § 66, item 3, § 76, items 1 – 3, § 78, § 79, § 83, item 1, § 84, item 1 and 2, § 89, items 1 - 4§ 101, item 1, § 102, item 1, § 107, § 117, items 1 and 2, § 125, § 128, items 1 and 2, § 132, item 2 and § 136, item 1, as well as § 34, § 35, item 2, § 43, item 2, § 62, item 1, § 66, items 2 and 4, § 97, item 2 and § 125, item 1 – with regard to the replacement of the word "the regional" with the "administrative" and the replacement of the word "the Sofia City Court" with "the Administrative court - Sofia", which shall enter into force from the 1st of May 2007;

2. paragraph 120, which shall enter into force from the 1st of January 2007;

3. paragraph 3, which shall enter into force from the day of the promulgation of the code in State Gazette.

 

Concluding provisions
TO THE ACT AMENDING AND SUPPLEMENTING THE CHILD PROTECTION ACT

(PROM. – SG 38/06)

 

§ 37. Throughout the Act the word "the license" shall be substituted by "the license" and "licenses" by "licenses" (language specific).

 

 

§ 38. The Council of Ministers shall set all acts of secondary legislation in compliance with the provisions of this Act within a 6-month period from it entering into force.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

 

§ 40. § 20 shall enter into force from 1 January 2007, and § 10, item 1 (regarding the words "the persons referred to in art. 18, para 1, items 3 and 4 of the Social Support Act"), § 28 (regarding the words "persons referred to in art. 18, para 1, items 3 or 4 of the Social Support Act ") and § 31 (regarding the words "The persons") shall enter into force from entering into force of the Treaty of Accession of the Republic of Bulgaria to the European Union.

 

Transitional and concluding provisions
TO THE CIVIL PROCEDURE CODE

(PROM. – SG 59/07, IN FORCE FROM 01.03.2008)

§ 61. This code shall enter into force from 1 March 2008, except for:

1. Part Seven "Special rules related to proceedings on civil cases subject to application of European Union legislation";

2. paragraph 2, par. 4;

3. paragraph 3 related to revoking of Chapter Thirty Two "a" "Special rules for recognition and admission of fulfillment of decisions of foreign courts and of other foreign bodies" with Art. 307a – 307e and Part Seven "Proceedings for returning a child or exercising the right of personal relations" with Art. 502 – 507;

4. paragraph 4, par. 2;

5. paragraph 24;

6. paragraph 60,

which shall enter into force three days after the promulgation of the Code in the State Gazette.

 

Concluding provisions
TO THE ACT AMENDING AND SUPPLEMENTING THE CHILD PROTECTION ACT

(PROM. - SG 14 /09)

 

§ 41. Creches, kindergartens, schools, providers of social services for children, health and medical institutions shall provide information about Number 116 at a visible place within 6 months from its setting up.

 

Concluding provisions
TO THE ACT AMENDING AND SUPPLEMENTING THE VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING ACT

(PROM. - SG 74/09, IN FORCE FROM 15.09.2009)

 

…………………………………

§ 26. In the Child Protection Act (prom. – SG 48/00; amend. – SG 75 and 120/02; SG 36 and 63/03; SG 70 and 115/04; SG 28, 94 and 103/05; SG 30, 38 and 82/06; SG 59/07; SG 69/08; SG 14 and 47/09) everywhere in the lae the words "the Minister of Education and Science", "Minister of Education and Science" and "the Ministry of Education and Science" shall be replaced respectively with "the Minister of Education, Youth and Science", "Minister of Education, Youth and Science" and "the Ministry of Education, Youth and Science".

……………..

 

 

§ 48. The Act shall enter into force from the day of its promulgation in the State Gazette, except for § 1, which shall enter into force from 15 September 2009 and § 47, which shall enter into force from 1 October 2009.

 

Transitional and concluding provisions
TO THE ACT AMENDING AND SUPPLEMENTING THE SOCIAL SUPPORT ACT

(PROM. – SG 51/11)

 

§ 10. (1) "Social support" fund shall be closed as a secondary administrator of budget credits subordinated to the Minister of Labor and Social policy. The available resources in the closed "Social support" fund shall be transferred to the budget of "Social protection" fund.

(2) Social Protection Fund shall be a legal successor of the assets, liabilities, rights and obligations of the closed "Social support" fund as per the balance sheet and the statement of accounts as of the date of entering of this Act into force.

 

 

§ 11. (1) Within three months after entering of this Act into force the Minister of Labor and Social Policy shall approve the regulation for the organization and the activity of "Social protection" fund and methodology of allocation of fund resources.

(2) Within three months after entering of this Act into force the Minister of Labor and Social Policy shall nominate the members of the Managing council and shall appoint the Managing director of "Social protection" fund.

(3) Until the nomination of the members of Managing council and appointment of the Managing director referred to in par. 2, the previous members of the Managing council of the closed "Social support" fund shall continue carrying our their powers.

(4) Until the approval of the regulation referred to in par. 1, the Regulation for the activity of the Managing council of "Social support" fund (non-promulgated) issued on the grounds of the revoked Art. 30, shall apply.

 

Transitional and concluding provisions
TO THE ACT AMENDING AND SUPPLEMENTING THE SOCIAL SUPPORT ACT

(PROM. – SG 32/12, IN FORCE FROM 24.04.2012)

 

§ 8. All professional foster families in an employment contract with the director of the "Social Support" Directorate at the date of entry into force of this Act shall be entitled to request a change to their contract with the selected suppler of the "adoptive care" social service. Where the foster family does not wish to change the employment contract, its effects shall be preserved until the expiration of its term of validity.

 

 

§ 9. The Council of Ministers shall adopt the required amendments to the Regulations on the Implementation of the Child Protection Act and to the ordinance under Art. 31, Para 6 of the Child Protection Act within three months from entry into force of this Law.

 

 

§ 10. The Council of Ministers shall adopt the required amendments to the Structural Regulations of the Social Support Agency within one month from entry into force of this Law.

 

 

§ 11. The Council of Minister shall adopt the required amendments to the Regulations on the Implementation of the Social Support Act within three months from entry into force of this Act.

 

 

§ 12. The Minister of Labor and Social Policy shall issue and ordinance on the career development of the social workers within 6 months from entry into force of this Law.

 

 

§ 13. This Act shall enter into force from the day of its promulgation in the State Gazette.

 

Transitional and concluding provisions
TO THE ACT AMENDING AND SUPPLEMENTING THE HEALTH ACT

(PROM. – SG 40/12)

 

§ 18. Within 7 days from entry into force of this Act the medical establishments having a LEMC, carrying out examination (re-examination) of the children under 16 years of age, shall ensure the participation of child disease specialist in the composition of LEMC.

…………………………………

 

 

§ 22. The provisions of § 1, 2, 3, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 21 shall enter into force from 1 June 2012.

 

Transitional and concluding provisions
TO THE PUBLIC FINANCE ACT

(PROM. SG 15/13, IN FORCE FROM 01.01.2014)

 

§ 123. This Act shall enter into force on 1 January 2014 with the exception of § 115, which enters into force on January 1, 2013, and § 18, § 114, § 120, § 121 and § 122, which came into force on 1 February in 2013.

 

Concluding provisions
TO THE ACT AMENDING AND SUPPLEMENTING THE YOUTH ACT

(PROM. – SG 68/13, IN FORCE FROM 02.08.2013)

 

§ 28. In the Higher Education Act the words “the Minister of Education, Youth and Science”, “Minister of Education, Youth and Science” and “the Ministry of Education, Youth and Science” shall be respectively replaced by “the Minister of Education and Science”, “Minister of Education and Science” and “the Ministry of Education and Science” and the words “the Minister of Physical Education and Sports” shall be replaced by “the Minister of Youth and Sports” everywhere in the text.

 

 

§ 55. The Act shall enter into force from the date of its promulgation in the State Gazette.

 

Concluding provisions
TO THE ACT AMENDING AND SUPPLEMENING THE PENAL CODE

(PROM. - SG 84/13, IN FORCE FROM 15.09.2009)

 

§ 6. The Act shall introduce the requirements of Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2011 on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA [OJ L 101 of 15.4.2011].

 

Transitional and concluding provisions
TO THE PRE-SCHOOL AND SCHOOL EDUCATION ACT

(PROM. - SG 79/15, IN FORCE FROM 01.08.2016)

 

§ 60. This Act shall enter into force from 1st August 2016, with the exception of:

1. Art. 22, para. 2 it. 3, 4 and 13 and para. 3, Chapter Six, Sections I, II and III and § 58, which shall enter into force one month after the promulgation of the Act in the "State Gazette"

2. Chapter Seven, which shall enter into force two months after the promulgation of the Act in the "State Gazette"

3. Chapter Sixteen, which shall enter into force on January 1, 2017;

4. § 46 it. 1, letter "a", which shall enter into force on August 1, 2022.

 

Transitional and concluding provisions
TO THE ACT AMENDING AND SUPPLEMENTING THE SOCIAL SUPPORT ACT

(PROM. - SG 8/16)

§ 15. Licences, issued under the Child Protection Act before the date of entry into force of this Act, shall remain in force until they expire. Prior to their expiration, the persons under Art. 18, para. 1, items 3 and 4 of the Social Support Act shall submit to the Chairperson of the State Agency for child protection an application under Art. 43c of the Child Protection Act to obtain a new licence.

Transitional and concluding provisions
TO THE ACT AMENDING AND SUPPLEMENTING THE ACT ON LIMITATION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATION AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL OVER THE BUSINESS ACTIVITY

(PROM. - SG 103/17, IN FORCE FROM 01.01.2018)

§ 68. The Act shall enter into force on 01 January 2018.

Relevant acts of the European Union legislation

DIRECTIVE 2011/36/EU OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 5 April 2011 on preventing and combating trafficking of people and protecting its victims, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA.

Last edited: 02.07.2018