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Online training “Intervention with children, migrant girls and adolescents living on the street”, given by F. Javier Romeo on 3 December 2020

Online training “Intervention with children, migrant girls and adolescents living on the street”, provided by F. Javier Romeo to UNICEF Spain, aimed at professionals in the protection system. The training is based on the intervention model proposed in the publication Beyond survival. How to improve the intervention in Europe with unaccompanied and separated migrant children who are left outside the protection system, written by F. Javier Romeo and Pepa Horno to UNICEF Spain, with some elements of deepening that do not appear in the text.

Date: Thursday, 3 December 2020, the 11:00 a 13:00 (Madrid time).

Place: online activity.

Free registration through event in the UNICEF Spain account in Zoom.

[Original Entry 19 November 2020, updated 3 December 2020, date of the online event].

New training manual on prevention of child sexual abuse in Early Childhood Education, by F. Javier Romeo-Biedma and Pepa Horno for the Council of Europe

[Post in Spanish. Read the post in English here].

The manual has just been released Kiko and the Hand. Training for Trainers Manual. Protective Teachers, Protected Children: Preschool Training to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse, written by F. Javier Romeo-Biedma and Pepa Horno Goicoechea and published by the Council of Europe. It is a satisfaction for both of us to share this new tool that provides guidance to facilitate workshops for the prevention of child sexual abuse.

We have prepared this document for the Council of Europe in the context of the project “Combating violence against children in the Republic of Moldova” (“Combat violence against children in the Republic of Moldova), but it is based on our experience of many years. It is linked to the materials of the Bell “One in Five” (“One in five”) Council of Europe, in which we participate in 2010 and 2011 developing materials and conducting training. Later, Javier provided trainings for the Council of Europe in Tunis in 2017. And within the framework of this latest project, Javier has facilitated a training in Chișinău in October 2019 and has supervised a training of trainers facilitated by Moldovan experts from CNPAC (National Center for Prevention of Child Abuse, the National Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse) with this methodology in January 2020 (you can read more about these formations here). The final phase of this process has been to develop this manual, which contains in itself the basic elements to implement a Training of Trainers and Trainers:

  • Chapter 1: an introduction to the methodology.
  • Chapter 2: the concept of child sexual abuse and its types.
  • Chapter 3: the consequences and indicators of child sexual abuse.
  • Chapter 4: a script for a training for Early Childhood Education professionals.
  • Chapter 5: the activities that need to be carried out with the Early Childhood Education teachers so that they can develop the fundamental skills.
  • Chapter 6: activities that teachers can do with boys and girls in their own classes.
  • Chapter 7: some final thoughts.
  • Chapter 8: references to other resources: documents, videos and web pages.

Currently the manual is available only in English, but we hope to have it translated into other languages ​​in the future.

This manual was released online last week, with the participation of relevant authorities of the Council of Europe, of the Republic of Moldova and Javier.

We hope you find it useful.

F. Javier Romeo-Biedma and Pepa Horno Goicoechea

“Kiko and the Hand. Training for Trainers Manual. Protective Teachers, Protected Children: Preschool Training to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse” by F. Javier Romeo-Biedma and Pepa Horno for the Council of Europe

[English input. Read the Spanish version here].

The manual Kiko and the Hand. Training for Trainers Manual. Protective Teachers, Protected Children: Preschool Training to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse, written by F. Javier Romeo-Biedma and Pepa Horno Goicoechea and published by the Council of Europe has just been made public. It is a satisfaction for both of us sharing this new tool that provides guidelines for the facilitation of workshops for the prevention of child sexual abuse.

This document has been created for the Council of Europe in the context of its project “Combating violence against children in the Republic of Moldova”, but it draws from our experience of many years. It is linked to the materials of the campaign “One in Five” of the Council of Europe, in which we took part in 2010 and 2011 developing materials and providing trainings. Later on, Javier provided trainings for the Council of Europe in Tunisia in 2017. And in this project Javier facilitated a training in Chișinău in October 2019 and supervised a training of trainers facilitated by Moldovan experts from the CNPAC (National Center for Prevention of Child Abuse, the National Centre for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse) with this methodology in January 2020 (more about these trainings here). The final stage of this process has been elaborating this manual, that contains in itself all the basics for implementing a Training of Trainers:

  • Chapter 1: an introduction about the methodology.
  • Chapter 2: the concept of child sexual abuse and its types.
  • Chapter 3: the consequences and indicators of child sexual abuse.
  • Chapter 4: an outline of a training for kindergarten teachers.
  • Chapter 5: the activities that need to be done with teachers in order to develop the competences required.
  • Chapter 6: the activities that teachers can do with children in their own classrooms.
  • Chapter 7: an afterword.
  • Chapter 8: the references to other resources, documents, videos and websites.

Currently it is only in English, but we are expecting to have this book translated into other languages in the future.

This manual was presented online last week, with the participation of relevant authorities of the Council of Europe, of the Republic of Moldova and of Javier.

We hope that you will find it useful.

F. Javier Romeo-Biedma and Pepa Horno Goicoechea

“Metaphors for consciousness”, new book by Pepa Horno and presentation video

Every new book is a gift, the end of a project that lasts many months. Like a dream that, taking shape, becomes real. Today I am lucky to be able to introduce you Metaphors for consciousness, book me number 13. It's a good number to make a spiral. Because this book is mine like the previous ones, but at the same time it's different.

Metaphors for consciousness collects the images that I use the most in training and therapy. They are images that I shaped throughout my professional career, in an attempt to give “lifetime” and make the technical concepts of psychology understandable. This book is a good example that it is the way of doing things that marks the effectiveness of what we do as professionals. It is not so much the “what”. It is mostly the “how come”. This book contains many hours searching “how come” accurate.

They are metaphors that I have been able to verify over the years that help people to make their “building” interior (preview of one of the metaphors), to bring awareness to their life story and understand how they have come to be who they are. Pictures that help them see their “boy” the “girl” interior, to take care of it, pet or cradle him.

How I write on the back cover:

“This book is written for anyone who wants to ask questions, look in, raise awareness. The consciousness that allows us to understand our personal history and, From there, be free and have peace. That peace that comes when we can understand and order. When can we let go. When we can honor”. (Download the presentation brochure).

It is not a technical book, but yes it is. It is not a poetic book, but so is. It is narration and illustration with the wonderful images that Zaida escobar (see Zaida Escobar's account on Instagram) has created for each of the metaphors, of the texts. Each metaphor is narrated in two languages: a poetic one that anyone can read and with hardly any technical terms; and other, the visual and soul, through the illustrations that accompany each text and give it life and depth. Thanks from my heart, Zaida, for giving these pages another life.

Thanks also to the publisher Desclée De Brouwer that, again, bet again for my work.

I really believe that this book deserves to be gifted. That's why i wrote it. So that those images reach beyond my query, of my lectures… even all those who want to use them to look inside or to accompany others in that process of conscious gazing.

I just hope you like it, that excites you like me, serve them. Whatever is, it will be OK.

Pepa Horno


Upgrading to 23 December 2020

The book presentation video is now available at the online event “Conscious coffee” made by videoconference with the participation of Pepa Horno, author of, and Zaida escobar (see Zaida Escobar's account on Instagram), the illustrator. In the presentation two metaphors are read and the symbolism of the illustrations and their elaboration process are explained, and there is conversation through participation in the chat.

Online presentation of the report “Beyond survival” con F. Javier Romeo on 6 November 2020

Online presentation of the report "Beyond survival. How to improve the intervention in Europe with unaccompanied and separated migrant children who remain outside the protection system ”, written by F. Javier Romeo and Pepa Horno to UNICEF Spain, With the presence of F. Javier Romeo.

Date: Friday, 6 November 2020, the 11:00 a 12:00 Madrid time.

Place: online activity.

Free registration through event in the UNICEF Spain account in Zoom.

[Original Entry 29 October 2020, updated 6 November 2020, date of the online event].

“Beyond survival. How to improve the intervention in Europe with unaccompanied and separated migrant children who are left outside the protection system”, by F. Javier Romeo and Pepa Horno for UNICEF

[Read the English version clicking here.]

Unaccompanied and separated migrant children face multiple difficulties. Like boys and girls, they are not usually heard. As immigrants, it is often considered that “they have fewer rights. Like boys and girls without affective references, they have to face the lack of protection on the part of the institutions that should protect them. And as boys and girls who are left outside the protection system and who can sometimes resort to any way of life to survive, they are often the target of hate speech and narratives that dehumanize them. But, We need to remember that they are boys and girls who have suffered adverse experiences and who deserve safe interventions that guarantee their human rights.

As a contribution to consolidate solid interventions and respectful narratives, We are proud to present this document that we have prepared from Espirales Consultoría de Infancia:

Although the two of us, F. Javier Romeo and Pepa Horno we are its authors, This publication tries to collect all the findings of the International Workshop that took place in Madrid in December 2019, that Javier helped facilitate. We had the contributions of specialists from Spain, French, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Norway, Netherlands and Sweden in Europe and Morocco in Africa. We also have the coordination of UNICEF Spain and UNICEF France, with the support of UNICEF's PFP Division. Our thanks for everything you shared., for their knowledge and for their experience. We hope the document will honor your generosity and commitment..

We have structured the text with three goals in mind, each of which is addressed in a chapter:

  1. Be clear about the “Fundamental principles and main risks faced by unaccompanied and separated children living on the street”.
  2. Get a complete perspective on a “Call to action: towards an integrative model of intervention for the care and protection of unaccompanied boys and girls living on the street”, exploring four levels of intervention (address legal and documentation aspects; promote and develop safe and protective environments; provide affective references to boys and girls; and build new narratives with and about unaccompanied migrant children living on the street).
  3. Provide inspiration through “Selected positive practices”, a compilation of specific interventions and programs that have worked at each of the levels proposed in the Chapter 2.

We hope that this document will help professionals and activists to develop new narratives and increasingly comprehensive interventions.. In this way, it will be possible to ensure that these children have full access to their rights., as the title says, beyond survival.

F. Javier Romeo and Pepa Horno

“Beyond Survival. Improving intervention in Europe with Unaccompanied and Separated Migrant Children who fall through the protection system”, by F. Javier Romeo and Pepa Horno for UNICEF

[Click here to read the Spanish version].

Unaccompanied and Separated Migrant Children face multiple difficulties. As children, they are seldom listened to. As migrants, they are considered as “with less rights”. As children without affective referents, they face defencelessness from the official institutions that should protect them. And as children that fall through the protection system and that can sometimes resort to any way of living in order to survive, they are often the target of hate speech and dehumanizing narratives. However, we need to remember that they are children who have suffered severe experiences and who deserve safe interventions that ensure their human rights.

As a contribution for the consolidation of sound interventions and respectful narratives, we are proud to present this document that we have elaborated from Espirales Consultoría de Infancia:

Although we, F. Javier Romeo and Pepa Horno are its authors, this publication tries to summarize all the findings of the International Workshop held in Madrid in December 2019, that Javier co-facilitated. We had the inputs of experts from Spain, France, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden in Europe and Morocco in Africa. We also counted with the coordination from UNICEF Spain and UNICEF France, with the support of the UNICEF PFP Division. We are grateful to all their sharings, their knowledge and their experience. We hope that the document will be able to honour their generousity and their commitment.

We have created this text with three goals in mind. They are addressed in each of the chapters:

  1. Having clarity about the “Key principles and risks faced by unaccompanied and separated children living in the street.”
  2. Envisioning a “Call for action: towards an integrative model of intervention for the care and protection of unaccompanied children in the street,” exploring four levels of intervention (addressing documentation and legal aspects; ensuring safe and protective environments; providing affective references; and building new narratives with and about unaccompanied migrant children living in the streets).
  3. Providing inspiration with “Selected positive practice,” a collection of specific programmes and interventions that have worked for each of the levels proposed in Chapter 2.

We hope that this document will help professionals and activists to develop new narratives and more integrated interventions. Those narratives will ensure that these children have full access to all their rights, as the title goes, beyond survival.

F. Javier Romeo and Pepa Horno

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

Online presentation of the research “Arrive on time. Children, girls and adolescents at risk in Spain” carried out by CI Spirals for Aldeas Infantiles SOS Spain on 24 September 2020

Online presentation of the research “Arrive on time. Children, girls and adolescents at risk in Spain” carried out by Spirales Consultoría de Infancia for SOS Children's Villages Spain. This research addresses the situation of vulnerable childhood in Spain and the itinerary of a child since it is declared at risk. The report analyzes a representative sample at the state level of 150 municipalities of all Autonomous Communities and identifies the public resources available for intervention with children, girls and adolescents at risk in order to preserve the family unit and avoid the loss of parental care. In the presentation they will participate, among others, Pepa Horno as coordinator of the investigation and F. Javier Romeo as technical coordinator.

Date: Thursday, 24 September 2020, the 16:00 a 18:00 (Madrid time).

More information and free pre-registration for the Zoom platform videoconference session at the website of the Zoom of Aldeas Infantiles SOS Spain for this event.

[Original Entry 14 September 2020, updated 24 September 2020, date of the online event].

How to accompany fragility after confinement by COVID-19

During these months of the health emergency situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, from Espirales CI we have tried to contribute from what we know how to do. We have been trying to answer the demand for emotional support, supervision and advice of professional teams working with children, girls and adolescents in the field of protection, in social and educational services mainly. Addition, We have maintained emotional support on a personal and therapeutic level at the individual level.

Throughout all this time reflections have emerged that we have shared in our personal spaces, so much Pepa Horno and your personal blog as F. Javier Romeo on his blog More Authentic Connection. But as often happens in our journey, the personal meets the professional, so we do not want to start the summer holidays without sharing in this space some of those reflections that have everything to do with the design and planning of measures that will be necessary to accompany the children, girls and teenagers in autumn.

The first reflection is that we will be wrong if we try to return to life and the pre-COVID-19 world. Not only because it is impossible, the world has changed in a significant way that does not allow return or oblivion. But because it can be destructive. There are some learnings that this pandemic has brought that we should not forget and that impel us to transform us. But, we perceive that both on a personal level, As socially and institutionally, measures are being developed in many cases from a provisional approach while awaiting the vaccine that allows us to return to the world we had. And we think it's a mistake.

COVID-19 has made us aware of our vulnerability. We were always vulnerable, but we lived with our backs to it from an experience of omnipotence generated by the false sense of control. We believed that we controlled our lives, and that the world worked by rules that if we followed them things would fit. But, a virus has been able to lay down our lives “upside down” and demonstrate the fragility of the social system, economic and institutional that we had built. Vulnerability, and the fear that comes with it, have become evidence. And we are not yet able to measure the consequences of that change at the social and institutional level. We should not be so naive to think that this experience is not going to transform social relations, individual decision making, the state of people's mental and affective health as well as political and institutional decisions.

The second reflection would imply some keys that are necessary for this transformation at a professional and institutional level.:

1. We need generate flexible structures. COVID-19 has forced us for the first time to work globally in a pandemic situation, of emergency. If effective interventions in an emergency situation are characterized by something, it is their flexibility. We have to maintain that criterion and generate structures, Projects, spaces that are flexible, easy to modify and adapt to different situations and populations. And this applies from the construction and its materials (How about if you look at architecture that can move and transform?), to physical spaces (open, with flexibility in its use, that allow movement…), to the design of programs and interventions in any workplace (programs that include internal transformation mechanisms), to working models (the face-to-face, telework, the connections, and so on.) or to vocational training (stop considering specialized training as the ultimate goal and move on to considering more general profiles as necessary that can maintain a global vision, as it happens with the specialty of internal medicine within the medical field).

Let's look at a clear example that is being debated a lot right now: the school. The measures that are being considered right now have to do with how to continue doing what was being done but implementing the security measures that were contemplated. That's impossible. We have to transform education. School spaces, make them open and modular, forgetting the classroom; work methodologies implementing once and for all project education throughout the educational cycle; open spaces that facilitate integration into nature and not cement in patios. It's about thinking of a different school in many ways. Not in the same school that we had, only guaranteeing social distance. If we have learned anything about school thanks to COVID-19 it is to see it as what it always was and in many cases we had forgotten: a protective structure, that generates equity and social integration, in addition to learning. Education and social distance are not compatible because the basis of the educational process is the human relationship, both between those who educate and the boys and girls and between themselves. And we are not only talking about the role of sensorimotor development and physical contact in nursery schools but about all educational cycles.

2. We need see provisionality as one of the few sure constants. We can't continue planning projects, immovable structures or plans. Children, girls and adolescents must learn to move physically, to change geographic location, From home, life, like adults to change jobs or residency. The post-COVID-19 world makes permanence very difficult. Our generations were educated to follow a long term, to plan your life (and we're not just talking about mortgages, but about work and personal life) and to measure progress through consumer capacity. None of these criteria will be criteria of success in the post-COVID-19 world.. It's about teaching how to flow, to change, not to hold onto possessions or places. And it will cost us a lot, because we were educated to the contrary, especially here in Europe.

3. We need back to small. In all senses and realities. Small places, small structures, small groups, small organizations. We are not only thinking about things that have been discussed a lot these days, like the need to transform big cities, shopping malls or massive entertainment venues due to the dangers they may entail. We think about operating structures, social intervention projects, health, educational, coexistence structures and many other issues. For us, one of the key lessons that COVID-19 leaves us in a very literal way is that only the small is sustainable. Returning to the example of the school, let's think about schools of 1200 students or in schools 300, four lines or one. But let's think about work teams where when the decision levels are very complex, the effectiveness of any measure is lost as well as slowing down and institutionalizing. The “little” it has many vertices, many faces, many things we could talk about at this point.

4. And last but not least, we need strengthen the community. A society is articulated around three levels: the individual, the community and the system. In the different continents social structures have developed that prioritize one or two of their levels, missing the third. In some countries the community and the system prevail, there where it exists, about the individual. In other countries it survives from the community and the individual because social systems are weak and vulnerable. In our reality, where we could include Europe and North America the individual and the system are prioritized losing the community. And the community has an essential protective role that always arises in crisis or emergency situations. When people have a strong emotional network, they are less likely to fall into situations of social exclusion or economic vulnerability. When societies have effective community participation structures, neighborhoods and cities are humanized and transformed. The affective network is one of the non-negotiable conditions of the protection of the individual that cannot be sustained only from the system. And that affective network is strengthened and established in the community. The post-COVID-19 world forces us to look towards the communities where we live: from changing the nuclear family model recovering the role of the extended family to incorporating community participation structures at any level of institutional intervention.

Sure there are many more elements, but for us from Espirales CI these are constitutive elements that must be present in any organizational or institutional decision that is made in these months. With them we want to finish this series of inputs which include the different materials, resources and videos that we have created for different contexts of intervention (education, protection, social services) as geographic (Spain, Latin America). We hope we have achieved our purpose that was none other than to accompany the professionals who work with children, girls and adolescents and their families.

A big hug,

Pepa Horno and F. Javier Romeo

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