Urgent appeal by Red Cross in Almeria

Maria del Carmen Gonzalez (second from left) and to her right, Jose Maria Martin. Photo credit: Junta de Andalucia

THE Red Cross Almeria has made an urgent appeal for foster families in the province. The charity is seeking families for 16 minors as part of its Program of Family Accompaniment of Minors.

The objective of the program is to respond to the needs of children “who cannot be adequately cared for by their parents or guardians, through coexistence and integration in another family where they can receive comprehensive care”.

While 135 children have already found a total of 112 families, there are specific criteria applied. According to Maria del Carmen Gonzalez, who’s responsible for the work of the Red Cross in Almeria, “there are different types of foster care, and currently, families are needed in each one of them.”

Children between 0 and six years old require an emergency family; five families aged between 0 and 11 for foster care, and eight children aged between seven and 15 years for a permanent placement. Also, four minors need specialised placements.

Emergency care is intended to respond to emergencies and is exclusive for children under six years of age, while temporary care is provided for the minor to return with his family in a set time or to move to another as a protection measure which has a maximum duration of two years.

On the other hand, permanent care – directed at children over seven years of age – is one in which there is no provision for return to the family of origin, and the period of coexistence with the host family may become indefinite.

Vocational fostering, which may be temporary or permanent, applies to children with special needs caused by illness, behavioural problems, physical, psychological or sensory disabilities, or children who require special support due to ill-treatment or sexual abuse.

The delegate of Equality, Health and Social Policies of the Junta de Andalucia, Jose Maria Martin, stressed that “fostering foster care is one of the priorities of the Delegation”. In this sense, at the beginning of the year, the Junta de Andalucia launched the campaign Siempre en Familia.”

Those interested in receiving more information can contact the Family Accompaniment Program at the Spanish Red Cross provincial headquarters in Almeria on 950 257 166 or at the Child Protection Service of the Delegation of Equality, Health and Social Policies on 950 017 271.