«The children who live in a CRAE are the responsibility of the whole society»
“The children and adolescents who live in the CRAE (Residential Educational Action Centers) are the responsibility of the whole society, especially the administrations; they are minors who are in the child protection system because they have been through complicated situations» explains Patricia Quilez, from Tarragona and vice-president of the Governing Board of the College of Educators and Social Educators of Catalonia.
Quílez makes this assessment regarding the commotion caused by the announcement of the transfer of the CRAE Voramar from Tarragona to Els Pallaresos and which has caused the protests of the neighbors and the reluctance of the city council itself.
They are not justice centers
The social educator believes that it is necessary to "do a lot of pedagogy to break the negative vision of this type of center" and clarifies, from the outset, that these are not justice or therapeutic centers but centers where children live who, due to different circumstances, do not They can be with their families. “It is a resource that we can all need, it can happen to anyone, that is why we have to defend that they work well and that they are of quality.”
He points out that the ideal is for children and adolescents who go through these circumstances to be with a family, but that is not always possible because there are not enough to do this work. For this reason, he explains, what is intended is that these centers are as similar as possible to a home and are integrated into the community. For this, it is not necessary for the CRAE to be in a specific place «a town serves us just as well as a city. In Els Pallaresos there is a school, there is a CAP... And there are already other children who live in the town, right? », he wonders.
Although in general children who go through these circumstances “are resilient and capable of adapting to circumstances”, a community that does not accept them is a way of re-victimizing them. “If they are stigmatized, it is very difficult to integrate and live in a community normally”
From the school they point out that more than about the location of these facilities, the neighbors should be concerned about the quality of the services they offer «because we have a duty to guarantee that we give them the same opportunities as the rest of the children... The debate It should be in how we serve them, he says. He assures that on many occasions these services are not provided with adequate quality because the portfolio of social services "has suffered many cuts." In addition, there is the fact that the management has been transferred to private foundations "where quantity often prevails over quality."
He points out that social educators and the staff who work in these centers are not always valued, in part due to the group with which they work «it is a little-recognized professional profile that resists due to its professional conviction and its voluntarism. It is not recognized that they do a transcendent job.
This week the City Council of Els Pallaresos, through its Facebook page, has announced a survey to find out the opinion of the residents regarding the location of a CRAE in the municipality. The survey, intended for people over 16 years of age, is carried out in the Town Hall itself until the 22nd.