Intervention Process

Child and Adolescent Recruitment

Initially, the recruitment of children was carried out through street outreach, at Plaza San Martín, and other places where street children congregated. Gradually, this practice has been abandoned as CIMA expanded.

​Currently, word of mouth is the main method of recruitment. Children and their families learn about CIMA through friends, neighbors, or organizations, parish, other homes, municipal defenders of children and adolescents* who guide them to the home. 
Generally, it is mothers, fathers, or other relatives who bring the children.

Children with severe behavioral problems and/or drug addiction.

Intervention Phases

​The child rehabilitation process does not encompass formal stages with defined time frames. 

On the contrary, the process adapts to the needs of each child, providing personalized attention.

Their admission

Their admission to CIMA cannot be done without their consent. Upon entry, the child or adolescent signs a commitment document accepting their admission. They verbally and in writing make this decision. The only exception concerns children sent by the authorities of the INABIF. In this exceptional case, the child is subject to the regulations applied in the Residential Care Centers (CARs), and the regime of their admission, exit, and outings is conditioned by the authorization of the competent administrative and/or judicial unit (cf. Legal Framework). The duration of the stay at CIMA varies from 6 months to 3 years. In some exceptional cases, the child may stay longer if the circumstances that led to their admission to CIMA have not changed.

The first phase

It involves a psychosocial assessment interview conducted by the psychologist, social worker, and nurse to make an initial diagnosis of the child's situation and determine if CIMA is the most suitable institution to receive the child, based on the nature of their problems. The child must demonstrate awareness of their issues and express a willingness to change. Written and signed authorization from the family or the contact person who brought the child is also required. A provisional admission form with the reasons for admission, the physical description of the child, and observations from the psychologist, social worker, and nurse is handed to the coordinator, who places the child in a pavilion based on their age and the nature of their problems. A more in-depth diagnosis of the child's situation will then be conducted by the CIMA team.


Integration phase

​The stage of integrating the child into their pavilion is overseen by the tutor. They welcome the child, explain how CIMA works, and introduce them to their housemates. During the first two weeks, the child rotates through different workshops before choosing their favorites. They are then given their workshop and leveling schedules. Generally, it takes a few months for the child to adapt to the functioning of CIMA (rules of coexistence, discipline, schedules, etc.).


Coexistence rules: - greet - thank you - apologize - ask please

Values: - share - forgive - tolerate - give another opportunity

To achieve personal, family, community and national progress: - order - cleanliness - punctuality - responsibility - desire to improve - honesty - respect for the rights of others - Respect for the law and regulations - Love for work - Eagerness for the savings and investment.

The child's progress

The child's progress is monitored daily by the tutors and teachers using behavioral evaluation systems to detect potential issues. Recurring behavioral problems are often indicators of deeper underlying issues for the child. Each day, the tutors fill out an occurrence log about the child's behavior (punctuality, respect for others, task completion). Additionally, each day, the leveling and workshop teachers provide the tutor with a report card, rating the child's behavior on a scale of 1 to 5. Positive evaluations of the child's behavior influence the rewards they receive (which can include playtime, television time, etc.).

Behavioral evaluation

Regarding the behavior of the children and adolescents, the tutors categorize them in their pavilion as positive, negative, or neutral. The "positive" category includes children who behave well and have a proactive and positive influence on others, unlike the "neutral" category, where the children behave well but do not seek to have any influence on the group. The "negative" category includes those who have demonstrated a consistent lack of attention to what the tutor or teachers say or have engaged in inappropriate behavior. "Positive" individuals receive praise and an invitation to a restaurant as a reward for four positive evaluations. Negative evaluations do not result in immediate consequences but serve to identify children who have recurring behavioral issues. If a child accumulates four negative evaluations in a short period, the educational team (coordinator, tutors, teachers, psychologists, and social workers) convenes a meeting with the child to discuss specific behavior improvement points

Solving a problem

If a team member identifies a problematic situation, they speak directly with the child to identify the causes of the problem and try to resolve them. If necessary, they refer the case to the psychologist. In more severe cases (for example, in the case of aggression or theft), the entire team meets with the child to analyze the situation with them and find a solution.


En cuanto a la disciplina, el principio clave de CIMA es que el niño forma parte de un grupo con los otros niños de su pabellón. Cada niño participa activamente de la disciplina del grupo y este, a su vez, tiene una influencia positiva sobre cada uno de sus miembros.

Very important element

Each child belongs to a group of a maximum of 16 peers. Interaction among them is of paramount importance. The aim is to break the mold limited to the interaction between an adult and a group of children. Each child is responsible for the well-being of the group. Additionally, if a child has behavioral problems, their peers have a duty to talk to them to encourage a change in attitude. If this does not work, they inform the tutor, who may then administer a corrective measure. The tutor may also organize meetings with the child and their pavilion peers to collectively find a solution. Depending on the child's age, length of stay at CIMA, and situation, corrective measures may vary: assistance in the farm, physical exercises (running around the sports field), or additional tasks (e.g., cleaning). These corrective measures are considered part of behavioral therapy, with the aim of changing the child's behavior rather than simply punishing them.