The Regional Ministry of Equality, Social Policies and Reconciliation has signed a collaboration agreement with nine town councils in the province of Almeria to provide free access to municipal sports, cultural and leisure facilities for minors in the Andalusian protection system and former foster youths participating in the coming of age programme. “If we want a more integrating and inclusive Andalusia, a more inclusive Almería, those of us who have public responsibilities have the obligation to promote measures such as this one, which favour the participation of all”, highlighted Ruiz.
The Councillor, who was accompanied by the delegate of the Government of the Junta in Almería, Maribel Sánchez Torregrosa, and the territorial delegate of Equality, Rafael Pasamontes, has clarified that these activities to which they are eligible thanks to these agreements are part of the comprehensive training of minors, “they have to be socialised, have access to culture, to that full life that has been taken away from them”, she has defended. In this sense, the councillor stressed the need to plan public policies aimed at the comprehensive development of minors with support measures such as this collaboration agreement. And she pointed out that, on certain occasions, the situation of disadvantage and risk of social exclusion is inherent to the initial affective, family and social deficiencies of the minors under the Junta’s guardianship.
All of this with the aim of “avoiding by all means that children enter the protection system, especially when we are talking about children under 7 years of age”. Furthermore, she emphasised that this care for the most vulnerable young people has been extended until they reach the age of majority, in order to prevent them from being exposed when they leave the protection centres. The new system of care promoted three years ago by the Regional Ministry, based on the protection of children’s rights and which, in the case of unaccompanied foreign minors, specialises resources according to their needs and their migratory project, has been fundamental to this. It is based on the premise that training, through individualised socio-educational itineraries, is key to the integration of all boys and girls coming from the child protection system once they reach the age of majority and their preparation for a fully autonomous life.
“We have quadrupled the resources, creating 914 places in the “+18″ high-intensity care programme, which includes accommodation and training, compared to 215 at the beginning of the legislature, to prevent them from being left on the street when they reach the age of majority and, therefore, leave the orbit of the protection system”, stressed the Andalusian head of social policies.