“We are very pleased to have been able to take advantage of the opportunity to contribute to the construction of scientific knowledge in the field of social action. We will continue to work with great impetus so that people with functional limitations can receive the necessary care at home or from institutions linked to the community”. With these words, Patricia Perez, Efren Cofiné and Tere Gomez conclude this text that we leave here to tell us about their experience in the INCLUSIÓ.CAT Congress. Gentis Foundation colleagues focused on explaining the First Opportunity resource, a gateway to the community network for young people migrated alone.
On July 3 and 4, the second edition of the Inclusió.cat Social Action Congress organized by the University of Vic and the Department of Social Affairs, Work and Families, addressing in depth the promotion of personal autonomy and attention from the proximity, indispensable elements of a system that amplifies its coverage and intervenes before in the closest environment of people.
In this space of dissemination and management of knowledge of and from social intervention the Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Families of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Chakir El Homrani, presented the bases of the strategic plan of Social Services: a model is proposed that prioritizes empowering and community-based interventions, emphasizing individual and collective strengths and relational supports, as key elements of social welfare paying close attention to prevention and anticipation.
The thematic axes of work that are developed between conferences and tables of work parallel, were the following:
- Prepare the Social Services system for the ageing of the population.
- Management of innovation in Social Services.
- European models for the promotion of personal autonomy: Danish case and Dutch case.
- Towards new organizational models focused on people.
- Primary social and health care: towards integrated care.
- Prevention and integrated care in the home and community environment.
- Organizational models and service platforms.
- Technological solutions.
Within the framework of the axis “Organizational models and service platforms” we were able to present a scientific poster to socialize with evidence a community and inclusive experience: The Resource of First Opportunity, a gateway to the community network for young people who migrate alone.
Both education and law, as well as the approaches of education for all, constitute pillars to reflect on the construction of fair, cohesive and solidarity-based societies. The arrival of young people who migrate alone in Catalonia highlights the need for a different socio-educational intervention to provide an adequate response to these young people who are experiencing situations of vulnerability and unprotectedness.
The reality in which the experience we present is framed is complex.
Firstly, for the target group, young people with life experiences that lead them to emigrate prematurely without accompaniment to find a solution to their personal and family situation in their country of origin. Almost 80% of these young people arrive in our territory without secondary education and without knowing the language, which entails obvious communication and relationship difficulties, and which are also essential to continue with their process of full inclusion.
Secondly, by the current legal framework that places them in a state of deprivation of rights and extreme vulnerability. Until young people are supervised and/or with a clear orientation of measure and resource, the administrative process to regularize their stay does not begin. With an irregular administrative situation, they are unlikely to be able to access formal or occupational education training actions.
The first opportunity resource aims to provide an urgent and unique response to this problem through the accompaniment and transition processes of young people who migrate alone, sharing in the actions an inclusive community-based perspective.
The intervention was built around two groups of 30 young people between 16 and 18 years old, one in Girona and one in Amposta, from the 2018-2019 academic year. Despite the territorial singularity and issues of access and referral of the participants, it pivots on a common methodological basis. It is an instrumental and pre-labour transition accompaniment and training service for young people who migrate alone. It is inspired by the theoretical and methodological foundations of the reception classrooms of the Plan for Language and Cohesion in the territories, the Second Chance Schools and the model of professional competences developed by the ISFOL.
The resource has the opportunity and space to improve its critical basic and transversal skills to access the network of community socio-educational resources necessary to respond to its various situations. Participants need their own orientation and training itineraries that facilitate, as quickly as possible, their project of autonomy and emancipation.
Inclusion is seen as the process of identifying and responding to the diversity of young people’s needs through greater participation in learning, cultures and communities, and reducing exclusion in training.
Changes and modifications are incorporated in contents, approaches, structures and existing strategies with a common vision that includes all young people from a community intervention of three phases: reception, life project itinerary and support educational and work environment
This first experience has focused on improving the communication possibilities of young people, in which they know the labour context of the territory and in making a technical-professional approach to different occupations.
Participants have been able to learn the key aspects of the language in a period of between one and four months, average duration of the intervention, improving their oral and written comprehension, and working at the same time each of the basic instrumental competences that will allow them a full adaptation.
60% of young people who have passed through the resource have carried out their proposed socio-educational work plan and thus have been able to access other training, educational and/or labour resources to continue growing competence.
It has obtained indicators that show the interests of young people for sports practice and for social and community volunteering projects.
Currently half of the group of young people are doing their itinerary.
- The experience has caused a community impact on the organization of Social Services and other organizations in the territory, bringing out a circulation of access for young people to the First Opportunity resource by sharing practice guides and care protocols .
- The resources of the territory are valued, taking advantage of them to facilitate the accompaniment and incorporation of the young person to their community of reference.
- It has been shown that at the local level it is easier to generate specific resources for the population that requires it. In order for inclusion to arrive, it must be negotiated in the specific context of action.
- The young person will not be able to learn to relate socially unless it is in formats where he is accepted and can develop these relationships, nor will he be able to increase his autonomy simply by training it individually, because most of the problems are solved in the social field. It shows the need for participation in the community.
We are very pleased to have been able to take advantage of the opportunity to contribute to the construction of scientific knowledge in the field of social action. We will continue to work with great impetus so that people with functional limitations can receive the necessary care at home or from institutions linked to the community.
Efren, Tere and Patricia