Two of the representatives of the children's voice in Bulgaria participated in the National Conference "Children's participation - a prerequisite for a successful and independent life." The forum is organized by the Know-how Center for Alternative Care, NBU in the framework of the activities of the International Child Protection Network (Childhub). The event was held online, with open access, and it included professionals from social services, organizations working with children and youth, representatives of youth groups and others.

The participation of children in all spheres of their lives, which is enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the provision of opportunities for them to exercise their rights, gives children the freedom to develop their personalities.

At the start of the event, an expert from the SACP pointed out the policy of the agency, which since its inception has been carrying out most of its activities together with children and presented the Children's Council as an advisory body to the Chairperson of the SACP.

During the discussion Pavel Dimitrov - representative of the Council for Sofia District and Todor Tachev - representative for Varna District shared the motivation, benefits and challenges of membership in the Children's Council at the SACP.

"I am sure that more and more will be heard about our activities. All of us in the Council want to help our peers to hear the children's voice, because children are the future and adults need to listen to this voice more and more often." said Todor from the Children's Council at the SACP.

The organizers of the conference provoked all participants to share their experiences and challenges in terms of: Are there prerequisites for authentic children's participation or do we observe processes that shrink, limit or completely exclude children? How does this process take place in FTAC and other similar services? Are there good practices that could be used and further developed?

In turn, the participants in the forum presented their experience in stimulating children's participation, as well as the various tools and approaches used by professionals working with children.

The participants in the conference agreed on a proposal to organize a new meeting to include children from the Children's Council, family-type accommodation centers, foster families and other alternative care to give them the opportunity to share their views. for children's participation.

Every child and every childhood is different, but the successful support in the development of every child can find a common direction. The SACP will continue to work to ensure the right of all children to be active, to express opinions, suggestions and to participate in issues that concern them. The Children's Council enables many different children to exchange knowledge and ideas, and to interact with state and non-governmental organizations at the national and regional level.