Just in Gipuzkoa, 700 minors remain under the supervision of regional social services. That’s 700 boys and girls who have experienced stressful situations because their relatives are not able to give them the care they need.
353 children live in foster homes and 347, in a care facility run by the regional government, which provides them with the care they need but lack the personal warmth that comes from a family.
While just over 50% of children under the care of social services in Gipuzkoa live with a foster family, in Spain the figure stands at about 14%. In the United Kingdom and Sweden, however, nearly 70% of these minors and adolescents live in foster homes.
Just in Gipuzkoa, 700 minors remain under the supervision of regional social services.
Government agencies favour foster care over residential placement because it provides children and adolescents with a safer, more stable environment.
A family environment is more conducive to a child’s personal development. In fact, living with a family, even if temporarily while the problem or situation is being resolved, allows children to have as much of a normal childhood as possible until they can go back to their biological family.
But what happens when they become adults? What options do they have?
Government agencies favour foster care over residential placement.
The Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa and the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) have signed an agreement to enable young people under the care of the provincial government to continue their university studies and have the same opportunities as other people their age.
The two institutions have joined forces to launch Arrakasta, a programme aimed at facilitating university access for young people who have reached adulthood under the protection of foster care or supervised housing schemes.
This academic year, six young people assisted by the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa have begun their university studies with the support of Arrakasta. Three of them live in supervised housing (for 18-23-year olds), two receive support from the specialized accompaniment programme, and one lives with a foster family.