Health

SOS Children’s Villages opens the debate on the challenges of foster care to guarantee child welfare

Lucía Losoviz, general director of the Rights of Children and Adolescents, with Pedro Puig, president of Aldeas Infantiles SOS and Alejandro Higuera, dean of the UNED Faculty of Psychology, during the presentation of the 1st Conference on quality care at the placement.
Lucía Losoviz, general director of the Rights of Children and Adolescents, with Pedro Puig, president of Aldeas Infantiles SOS and Alejandro Higuera, dean of the UNED Faculty of Psychology, during the presentation of the 1st Conference on quality care at the placement.

Madrid, October 26, 2022. The I Conference on quality care in foster care organized today by Aldeas Infantiles SOS in the UNED and dedicated to The guarantee of child welfare, has opened a debate among professionals and experts in teaching, psychology and sociology on the quality of residential care in our country, identifying good family and educational practices, and reflecting on the path traveled over the last few years and the pending challenges. The event was attended by the Director General for the Rights of Children and Adolescents, Lucía Losoviz.

Almost 50,000 children and adolescents live under a protection measure in Spain, whether in residential or family care, which aims to offer a new home to those children and adolescents who grow up without parental care.

As SOS Children’s Villages explains, today we know which are the protective factors that most contribute to the success of foster care and that influence the degree and quality of well-being of children and adolescents: “the creation of bonds of attachment stable, predictable environments that have human warmth and cohesive socio-family groups“. Likewise, the organization points out that quality management systems and training are important and necessary resources to achieve these objectives.

To discuss the quality of care in our country, the organization of direct attention to children has gathered today in the I Conference on quality care in foster carededicated to The guarantee of child welfare, the general director of the Rights of Children and Adolescents, Lucía Losoviz, the dean of the Faculty of Psychology of the National Distance Education University (UNED), Alejandro Higuera, and the president of Aldeas Infantiles SOS, Pedro Puig, with professionals and experts from teaching, psychology and sociology committed to supporting vulnerable children and adolescents.

Lucía Losoviz has assured that “strengthening the affective bonds of children and adolescents who grow up in the protection system must be a priority” and that only by offering them the necessary support and care will they be able to develop their full potential.

Thus, the psychologist Ernesto López has addressed the requirements of competent and comfortable care. The full professor of the Faculty of Psychology of the UNED, María de la Fe Rodríguez, has emphasized the need for training in psychosocial risk for professionals who work with children and adolescents. And the professor of Clinical Psychology at the Complutense University of Madrid, María Paz García, has delved into the impact of trauma on children and adolescents and their development.

For his part, the vice president of the Sociology of Childhood and Adolescence Group (GSIA), Kepa Paul Larrañaga, presented the results of the study The challenges of the protection system: an open debate on “institutionalization” and has debated with Liliana Marcos, representative of the Secretary of State for Social Rights, about the future of residential care in our country.

The president of Aldeas Infantiles SOS, Pedro Puig, has affirmed that seven years after the entry into force of the Organic Law modifying the protection system, “there is still much to be done to guarantee quality care that puts at the center of our eyes the best interest of each boy and girl“.

Pedro Puig has recalled that “boys and girls in foster care need unconditional adults, who accompany them, who are always available, who do not judge them, who respect them and who offer them the necessary stability so that they know that, whatever happens, pass, they will still be there“. And he has invited reflection on the concept of unconditionality because “only with it, these boys and girls will be able to grow and develop with security and confidence”.

The quality of residential care in Aldeas

The Professor of Social Intervention at the University of Oviedo and director of the Family and Childhood Research Group (GIFI), Jorge Fernández del Valle, has carried out an analysis of the quality evaluations of residential care that he has been carrying out during the last 15 years. years in the different SOS Children’s Villages homes. “Aldeas’s commitment to quality, requesting the permanent evaluation of its protection homes during all these years, is an example of its involvement with the well-being of the children, adolescents and young people it serves”, Fernández del Valle assured. .

Through a standardized system that analyzes different parameters in two age groups, the children and adolescents sheltered in Aldeas rate the coverage of their basic needs, the equipment, the educators, the relationships, the autonomy and the social climate between pairs, among other variables. In 2021, they gave the organization a 4.04 out of 5.

The study, which also collects the opinion of professionals, highlights that especially good results are obtained in Residences and Homes intended for the preparation of autonomy, “an issue that is especially valuable considering that it is about adolescents and they tend to be more critical in their evaluations.

Quality evaluations are essential to assess the way in which professional practice is developed in the field of residential care, allowing decisions to be made that delve into achieving the best possible service to guarantee the well-being of children and adolescents.

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