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Research “Arrive on time. Children, girls and adolescents at risk in Spain” made by CI Spirals for Aldeas Infantiles SOS Spain

One of the most important lines of work that we develop at CI Espirales are studies and research on the scope of protection. Our purpose is to provide elements of technical reflection for the improvement of the attention to children, girls and adolescents by the protection system. It is a line of work that completes those of training and supervision of teams of professionals in different areas and resources that exist within the system.

We work from a Child Rights Approach and comprehensive protection. We consider that protection is not only the eradication of all forms of violence against children, girls and adolescents but the generation of safe and protective environments that allow their full development as well as the exercise of their human rights. We believe in the social and institutional change that takes place in any field by transforming those environments and creating awareness about it in those responsible for them. The studies and research we carry out are a way for the CI Spirals team to create such awareness in technical and political leaders.

That's why the opportunity he offered us SOS Children's Villages of Spain to conduct research on childcare, Girls and adolescents at risk in Spain seemed to us both accurate and timely by the entity from the legitimacy of its work in the protection system through its family preservation and family and residential care programs.

The report Arrive on time. Children, girls and adolescents at risk in Spain is the result of an investigation that lasted a year and a half carried out on a sample of 150 municipalities throughout Spain. These municipalities were randomly chosen and make up a representative sample at the state level. In the sample there are rural and urban municipalities, of all population sizes and of all Autonomous Communities (and the two Autonomous Cities) proportionally to the number of inhabitants and protection files of each Autonomous Community. It can be downloaded in two formats:

The report reflects such diversity in the intervention carried out with children, girls and adolescents at risk in Spain that there is no variable, nor the autonomous community, nor the population size, that can explain the extreme differences between one municipality and another when evaluating the resources available to care for children, girls and adolescents at risk in their territory. Again, child, A girl or adolescent at risk will be guaranteed their right to protection in a different way depending on the municipality where they live.

The report also records the lack of systematization and accessibility of the system data. For example, there was a third of the municipalities that could not give the data of how many children, girls and adolescents at risk had in their municipality, solo 19 the 150 They were able to tell us how many of the children with whom they had intervened had ended up in a situation of guardianship due to abandonment, and it was impossible to find out the budget dedicated by each municipality to attend to these children, girls and adolescents at risk. The absence of data and the difficulty of accessing them makes the system impossible to evaluate.

And then there are the technical questions regarding the intervention. It is not the object of this entry to summarize all the data in the report because the entire research team would like it to be read in its entirety. But we do want to point out some issues that seem particularly worrying to us. There are three elements that are key if we want to carry out an effective intervention that can eradicate the risk situation in time:

  • Networking in the municipality that manages to incorporate the community in a real way in this intervention. This networking is only found in a third of the municipalities studied.
  • Intervention from primary prevention and in the earliest age groups. However, we found an age bias in the resources, the vast majority of them are dedicated to adolescence and most municipalities did not consider prevention as part of work at risk. The continuum between prevention, vulnerability and risk did not exist in most of the municipalities analyzed.
  • A positive view of the system towards families. We found a system with a more evaluative look than reparative or accompanying, that links risk to “lack of parental abilities” avoiding other types of situations of social conflict or risk, and that continues to link risk to social exclusion, focusing vulnerability intervention on economic vulnerability.

For us, the publication of this report comes later than we would have liked due to the circumstances in which we are.. It was carried out between May 2018 and may 2019 and only the data that the municipalities had available at the time could be collected corresponding to the period of 2017 (and in some cases 206). But still, We believe that due to its novelty and the breadth and representativeness of the sample it represents an opportunity. The opportunity to look with rigor and tranquility precisely the most necessary part of the protection system, the one that intervenes to avoid helplessness, the one that prevents pain, the harm and suffering of children, and adolescents, or at least manages to minimize it before taking other drastic measures. That part of the system that was created to guarantee the right contained in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and our own state and regional legislation: the right to grow up with your family and in a safe and protective environment. We hope that the report is an awareness tool.

And we cannot finish this presentation entry without thanking Violeta Assiego, Itziar Fernandez, Aurea Ferreres, Lourdes Juan and Santiago Míguez, without whose work it would have been impossible to develop this research. Thank you for teaching us so much. At Espirales CI we have always believed in networking to guarantee the legitimacy of what we do, and walking by your hand has been a privilege.

Also thanks to Aldeas Infantiles SOS España and especially to those who have collaborated in the investigation and in its dissemination for the trust they placed in us., without which this report would have been impossible. Thank you for the privilege of this shared path.

Pepa Horno and F. Javier Romeo

Comments

Comment the Alberto Rodriguez
25 September, 2020

Hi Javier – Joe
Although it takes a long time, because unfortunately the conclusions you raise are still valid… Lack of specificity about the concept of risk, atomized visions and interventions,…
Your report is a good opportunity to continue improving the system and making it more connected to reality and the support needs of families.
Data such as the fact that a high percentage of municipalities did not know in what situation they were in cases that had led to protection measures or the fact that risk benefits are less structured than those for serious risk or distress, they have to help us move forward.
Congratulations on your work
Thanks

Comment the F Javier Romeo – CI Spirals
25 September, 2020

Thank you very much for your comment, Alberto, coming from a great professional like you gives us a lot of satisfaction.

As you say, It is time to move forward to ensure that each child, girl and adolescent has sufficient support to overcome risk situations.

It is an honor to be on the same line.

A hug,

Javier

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