Spain has a pioneering law on child protection

The reform of the System for the Protection of Children and Adolescents, which has paid special attention to the concept of foster care, is a pioneering law in the world, according to an analysis carried out by a large group of experts in the Servimedia-Communication Forum.

The reform of the System for the Protection of Children and Adolescents modifies a total of 19 laws referring to minors, among them the Law of Civil Procedure, the Law of International Adoption, the Civil Code or the Organic Law of Legal Protection of Minors.

To analyze this reform, experts from the field of psychology, law and representatives of host associations have met in the Forum Servimedia-Communication Family foster care in Spain after the modification of the protection system for childhood and adolescence.

A Law pioneer in the world

Institutionalization "must be the last of the existing resources" in the child protection system, explained Jorge Cardona, member of the International Committee of the Rights of the Child, and that is why, although "there are no perfect or unique solutions, since each child needs a different solution ", it is fundamental that the current reform explicitly commits to foster care, by virtue of the deinstitutionalization of children. The current reform is, according to Carmona, the "first Law in the world" that includes the guidelines that the International Committee on the Rights of the Child performed with regard to the insertion of Concept of the Higher Interest of the Child as a conceptor rector of the regulations that affect the protection systems for children and adolescents.

Living as a family is a fundamental right of the child

For its part, the general director of Services for Family and Children of the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality, Salomé Adroher, stressed that it is "two twin laws" that have been "deeply agreed" by all sectors affected . In his opinion, the recognition of "living with the family as a fundamental right of the child, and general principle of the administrations", as well as the establishment of a state communication system that will allow identifying host families between different communities, are some of the aspects decisive elements of the new legal framework. According to Adroher, it is to be celebrated that "their role is finally granted to the host families", conceiving them as "absolute protagonists of the protection system".

The foster care, a great unknown

Paloma Fernández, president of the State Association of Family Welfare (ASEAF), said that in Spain there is still a "great ignorance" about the concept of foster care, and considers "striking that society being so generous, there are so many children in situations of abandonment". He also believes that the current reform "positions minors as people", by "prioritizing family care over housing for the benefit of the child".

On the other hand, Clara Martínez, director of the Santander Chair of Law and Minors, said in the Forum that "in foster care is where it impacts more clearly and with greater potential in the reality of children." According to Martinez, the fact that the reform is dictated by the exclusive competence of the State is of the utmost importance to "harmonize essential criteria for the protection of children among the different communities", and that in all of them the fundamental aspects must be applied. collected in the state legislation.

For his part, the psychologist specializing in minors José Antonio Reguilón stressed the importance of "thinking about the Higher Interest of the Minor, and placing it at the center of the protection system", since from a clinical point of view, it means "that the child can name what happens and is heard, "and" family foster care is a way of listening to these children in situations of abuse or abandonment. "

15,000 minors do not have a family

María Araúz de Robles, vice president of the ADAMCAM association and coordinator of the II Higher Interest Child Congress, stressed that foster families firmly believe in the "importance of deadlines and for what a child will be the future", since "the experiences, even if they are short, mark him for his whole life ". According to Araúz, the reform is welcome because it is necessary to "invest the system" because it is not possible that "there are 15,000 minors in different residential centers without being able to live with any family".

Javier Huete, General Prosecutor for Coordination of Minors, closed the meeting celebrating the fact that the current reform reflects "the best interest of the child not only as a substantive right, but as an interpretative principle and rule of procedure".The current reform supposes, in Huete's opinion, a normative block that "changes the procedural, normative and constitutional perspective of the rights of the minor", and that establishes by law aspects as important as the "greater proximity in the actions of the prosecutors" , or the concretion in a "complex" matter such as the residential care of minors with specific behavioral problems.

Marisol Nuevo Espín

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