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Recruitment of Children and Adolescents

At the beginning, the recruitment of children was carried out through street outings, in Plaza San Martín and other places where street children were concentrated. Little by little, this practice has been abandoned, as CIMA grew.

To date it is word of mouth communication that works. The children and their families find out about CIMA through friends, neighbors or organizations, the parish, other homes, municipal child and adolescent ombudsmen* that guide them towards the home.

Generally, it is the mothers, fathers, or other relatives who bring the children.

Exceptionally, some children come on their own initiative.

Phases of the Intervention

The child’s rehabilitation process does not include formal stages with a defined time. Rather, the process is tailored to the needs of each child; giving personalized attention.

  • The entrance to the home is by the child’s own will. Your incorporation into CIMA cannot be done without your consent. Upon entering, the child or adolescent signs a commitment document to accept their admission. It is the same that decides verbally and in writing. The only exception concerns children sent by INABIF authorities. In this exceptional case, the child is subject to the regulations that are applied in the CARs and the regime of their entry, exit and exit is conditioned to the authorization of the competent administrative and/or judicial unit (cf. Legal framework). The duration of stay at CIMA varies from 6 months to 3 years. In some exceptional cases, the child can stay longer if the circumstances that led to his admission to CIMA have not changed.

The first stage of the child’s admission to CIMA consists of a psychosocial assessment interview in charge of the psychologist, the social worker and the nurse, in order to make a first diagnosis of the child’s situation and find out if CIMA represents the most appropriate institution to receive the child, depending on the nature of the child. their problems. For his part, the child must be aware of his problems and express his willingness to change. The written and signed authorization of the family or contact person who brought the child is also requested. A provisional admission form with the reasons for admission, the physical description of the child and the observations of the psychologist, the worker social and nurse is delivered to the coordinator who places the child in a pavilion according to their age and the nature of their problems. Then a deeper diagnosis of the child’s situation will be made by the CIMA team.

  • The stage of integration of the child in his pavilion is in charge of the guardian . He welcomes the boy, explains how CIMA works and introduces him to his housemates. During the first two weeks, the child rotates through the different workshops and then chooses the ones he likes the most. Then you are given your workshop schedules and leveling. Generally, the time for the child to adapt to the functioning of CIMA (rules of coexistence, discipline, schedules…) takes a few months.
  • The monitoring of the child is done on a daily basis by tutors and teachers through behavior assessment systems, in order to detect possible problems. Recurring behavior problems are usually signs of a deeper malaise in the child. Every day the tutors fill out a notebook about the child’s behavior (punctuality, respect for others, fulfillment of tasks). Likewise, every day the leveling and workshop teachers give the tutor a card with grades from 1 to 5 that evaluates the child’s behavior. The positive evaluation of the child’s behavior determines the stimuli that he receives (which can be hours of play, time to watch television,…
  • Every week there is an evaluation of the behavior of children and adolescents, in order to encourage those who have good behavior. Guardians typify children in their ward in positive, negative, or neutral behaviors. The “positives” are the children who behave well and also have a proactive and positive influence on others, unlike the “neutrals” who behave well but do not seek to have any influence on the group. The “negative” are those who have shown constant lack of attention to what the tutor or teachers say or who have had inappropriate behavior. The “positives” receive applause and an invitation to the restaurant as a reward for four positive evaluations. Negative evaluations do not lead to corrections but serve to identify children who have recurrent behavior problems. If the child accumulates four negative evaluations in a short period of time, the pedagogical team (coordinator, tutors, teachers, psychologists and social workers) summons him to a meeting in which he is summoned to improve his behavior in precise points.
  • If a member of the team identifies a problematic situation , he talks directly with the child to identify the causes of the problem and try to solve them. If necessary, refer the case to the psychologist. In the most serious cases (for example in case of aggression or robbery), the whole team meets with the child to discuss the situation with him and find a solution.
  • Regarding discipline, the key principle of CIMA is that the child is part of a group with the other children in his pavilion. Each child actively participates in the discipline of the group and the group, in turn, has a positive influence on each of its members. The leading role within the group is a very important element. The child belongs to a group of 16 peers at most. The interaction between them is of paramount importance. It seeks to break the scheme that is limited to the interaction of an adult with a group of children. Each one is responsible for the smooth running of the group. Likewise, if a child has behavioral problems, his classmates have a duty to talk with him so that he changes his attitude. If it doesn’t work, they notify the tutor who can give a corrective. The tutor can also organize meetings with the child and all of their roommates to collectively find a solution. Depending on the child’s age, length of stay at CIMA and their situation, the corrective measures may vary: help with the farm, physical exercises (running around the sports field) or additional tasks (eg cleaning). These correctives are considered part of behavioral therapy. The goal is to change the child’s behavior, not to punish him.