The Government delegate, Aránzazu Martín, presented the campaign “Welcome, adopt, collaborate gives a lot” to find families who are willing to meet the need to provide a family environment for children in care, giving them the opportunity to live in a normalised context, thus opening the doors of their homes to minors who are in protection centres. In Almería there are more than 350 children in these centres waiting for a family, 92 of whom are under the age of twelve.
Martín explained that “this campaign aims to raise awareness in Andalusian society of the need to give these children the added bonus of a home. We have to raise awareness in order to increase the number of foster families”. Martín thanked the families, but pointed out that “more are needed. “For the development of these children it is very important that they receive the affection and warmth of a home and we have to achieve this with this initiative,” she said.
The delegate added that in Almeria “there are 128 children in foster care and 95 families in this regime. Of these, 34 are in foster care and 61 in extended care”. Aránzazu Martín appealed to the sensitivity of the people of Almeria, highlighting that “the Andalusian Regional Government is committed to a family alternative, where children are in a home that is accompanied and loved”.
On the other hand, the territorial delegate of the Regional Ministry of Social Inclusion, Youth, Families and Equality, Francisco González Bellido, stressed that “we must also support adoptions, since, although the waiting time is longer, the benefit for the child is immense”. Bellido added that “there are 5 minors awaiting adoption, 22 in foster care for adoption and 19 families have been selected for foster care for adoption”.
González Bellido has detailed what the collaborating family modality consists of, with which “it is possible to enjoy a weekend or holidays with the family, so that these children can get to know and enjoy the warmth of a home”. At the moment, 23 children in Almería have a collaborating family.
From the Junta de Andalucía, the territorial delegate of Social Inclusion has appealed to the solidarity of the people of Almeria, assuring that “Almeria needs families in all forms of foster care, mainly emergency and temporary” and that he is sure that this campaign will increase the number of people who offer themselves for foster care. He also pointed out that “there are families who open their doors to children with special needs or siblings so as not to have to separate them”.
Francisco Hernández, a foster parent for more than 10 years, explained that “they have managed to complete more than 14 foster placements and what seemed like an odyssey has been the most wonderful thing in the world. To see them arrive sad and leave happy, flourishing and ready for a new destination”. “The sadness they give you when they leave is only compensated by the joy that comes to you when you receive another fostering”, she concluded.
A very ambitious campaign to spread in the media, social networks and external media, which will be accompanied by a website (www.acogeadoptacolabora.es) to give all the information to families who take this step. There are several ways of offering to help: fostering (either in the form of emergency, temporary or permanent fostering), adopting or collaborating, the latter being social collaboration, which allows for the promotion of weekend or holiday trips for minors with collaborating families, providing them with moments of leisure and coexistence, promoting positive emotional relationships for these minors.
This campaign, which will have two waves (June and September), aims to increase the number of families for minors in protection centres. “We are looking for families who collaborate, who welcome, who adopt. To open their hearts and show the solidarity of a land like Almeria”, concluded the government delegate.