MÀngels Balsells Bailon

University of Lleida

Positive parenting in the child and adolescent protection system

Participants: Aida Urrea Monclus1; Isabel M. Bernedo Muñoz2; Núria Fuentes_Pelaez3

1Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona; 2University of Málaga; 3University of Barcelona

Symposium Summary

Working with the biological family when children are in the Child and Adolescent Protection System is a major scientific, social and professional challenge.  Scientific evidence shows how the ecological perspective provided by the concept of positive parenting contributes to understanding abuse and neglect from an ecosystemic and developmental approach of the child without simplifying it exclusively to inadequate parental behavior. On the other hand, in the child protection system, the meaningful involvement of families is a key to success in its improvement process, as family engagement in decisions, actions and development is what can enable the good care of the child.  The success of this involvement lies in considering the family's point of view as the central element in understanding the child's need and as the central element in advancing the situations. From these ecological and participatory approaches, research is being developed to promote positive parenting in the context of child and adolescent protection. This symposium will present different applied research results aimed at improving support and socio-educational work with families of origin during foster care and family reunification. FRAME+P, a comprehensive model of socio-educational action with the family of origin aimed at promoting positive parenting in the protection of children and adolescents, will be presented. Innovative and transforming methodological strategies of current practices will also be presented, which favor the real and significant participation of those involved, both from individualized and group practices. The search for positive parenting in the context of protection requires a methodological transformation oriented towards proactive, participatory and inclusive work with the whole family - including children and adolescents - and during all phases of the process.

Short CV

Mª Àngels Balsells is Professor of Pedagogy at the University of Lleida.  Director of the Chair in Education and Adolescence and coordinator at UdL of the Research Group on Socio-educational Interventions with Children and Youth-GRISIJ-.

Her research activity is focused on adolescence, childhood and family in situations of vulnerability and social risk. She has a long research career in the detection of educational and social needs through research and participatory action processes. As well as in the design of methodological proposals for socio-educational action, both in educational contexts of social services and child protection. She is the author of the programme "Caminar en Familia Programa de competencias parentales durante el acogimiento y la reunificación familiar" published by the Spanish Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality.

She has made particularly relevant contributions to knowledge and innovation in socio-educational practice with families in the context of child and adolescent protection and in the participation of children and adolescents in their processes. The articles published in international scientific journals, as well as the participation in international congresses and the transfer actions carried out are proof of the repercussion of her work in this field of knowledge.

She is currently leading the research project coordinated by the State R&D&I  (I+D+i) Programme of the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, "A model of socio-educational action for family reunification in the child and adolescent protection system from the approach of positive parenting (FRAME+P)" with researchers from the University of Lleida, the University of Barcelona, the Rovira i Virgili University of Tarragona, the Università degli Studi di Padova, the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, the University of Minho and the University of Brighton.

She has made several international stays and visits: University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM); University of Sussex; University of Toronto; University of Minho; Università degli Studi di Padova; Dublin City University; Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR); Université de Sherbrooke and at the Research Centre of the Institut Universitaire de Montréal.

She is a member of the Expert Group on Positive Parenting of the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality and the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces. She is also a member of the plenary session of the Observatory of Children's Rights of the Generalitat de Catalunya.

Her research activity is completed with her role as an evaluator for the State Research Agency and as a member of different Editorial Committees. She is currently the Director of the Doctoral School of the University of Lleida.

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