The Preschool and School Education Act regulates counseling and guidance in preschool and school education. The parents have the right at least once a year to receive information, support and consultation in the kindergarten or school on issues, related to education, career orientation and personal development of their children.
Career orientation in the school education includes complementary activities for information, diagnostics, consultation, intermediation and tracing in view assistance of the students in their independent and conscious choice of education and/or vocation and realization of a connection between the school and the labour market. It is carried out by schools and personal development support centers and is a part of the general support for personal development.
According to the project "System for career guidance in school education", financed by the Operational Program "Science and education for intelligent growth", co-financed by the European Union through the European structural and investment funds, a National portal for career guidance of students was built and is working. It presents the career guidance services in the regional support centers for personal development.
The portal provides access to the School-level Career Guidance Program for students from classes I to XII. An interactive diagram of the structure of the education system in Bulgaria provides access to information on stages, levels of education and types of training. There is an information for each stage, level of education and type of training, information on duration of training, conditions for admission, preparation, method of completion and others.
The portal provides access to Personal Development Support Centers in each regional city, which give career guidance services for students, parents and teachers. A career counselor can be selected to book an e-consultation or visit on-site. Consultations are provided by certified career counselors and are free of charge.
Building up a positive climate and a suitable psychological environment in kindergartens, schools and personal development support centers is an expression of the efforts of all participants in the educational process. Guidance is a free-of-charge service within the school setting and can be initiatiated from all parties - parents, teachers, classmates or even the child himself. Consultations are conducted by the psychologist or the pedagogical advisor based on the needs of the child or student. The main concern is the maintenance of dialogue and development of relations between the child and his relatives - family, parents and immediate social environment. A psychologist is provided to a child or student with identified needs for psychological support and therapy, a need for direct work and counseling.
Support teams for personal development necessarily include a psychologist or pedagogical advisor, as well as a speech therapist. Solving complex problems often requires the cooperation between these persons and a special pedagogue, a medical person, representatives of the child protection authorities and the authorities for fight anti-social behavior of minors and juniors.
The prevention of violence and the overcoming of problematic behavior is expressed in the inclusion of individual children and students in activities to internal motivation, as well as providing psychological support. Psychological support is aimed at children and students, pedagogical specialists and parents. It is carried out by a psychologist and includes:
- creation of conditions for cooperation and effective communication between all participants in the educational process;
- provision of methodical assistance to teachers for the prevention of bullying and violence and for overcoming the problematic behavior of children and students;
- performing group work with children or students and/or crisis intervention;
- work with the environment in which the child or student is - family, peers.
To support children and students with difficulties, disabilities or mental health disorders, and in some cases also children and students with expressed gifts, a complex of activities is carried out to achieve independence, acquire and apply skills for full inclusion in the environment. These activities are called psycho-social rehabilitation. It is provided to a child or student based on an assessment of their individual needs. The leader of the child's or student's case in the provision of psycho-social rehabilitation in the kindergarten and in the school is the psychologist or the pedagogical adviser, when he is qualified in psychology. When necessary, a psychologist also carries out rehabilitation of communication disorders.
Children and students with special educational needs, who study in a center for special educational support, are provided with pedagogical and psychological support for:
- optimal development of strengths and abilities;
- correction and compensation of educational difficulties;
- achieving the expected learning results;
- stimulation of their overall development for successful social and professional realization.
The Minister of Education and Science organizes professional guidance. The Ministry of Labor and Social Policy is also involved in this activity. Municipalities form and implement on their territory the policy in the field of professional guidance of students, unemployed, as well as other persons.
Vocational guidance provides information, consultation and advice to students and other persons regarding the choice of profession and career development. Information and vocational guidance centres for pupils and other persons are functioning in accordance with the Vocational Education and Training Act. The centers can be state, private, Bulgarian with foreign participation or international. They must be licensed by the National Agency for Vocational Education and Training.