St. Martin's Square


Children and Adolescents

At the beginning, the uptake of children was done by street exits, in Plaza San Martín and other places of concentration of children in the street. Gradually, this practice has been abandoned as CIMA grew.

To date it’s mouth-to-mouth communication that works. Children and their families learn about CIMA by friends, neighbors or organizations, parish, other homes, municipal child and teen advocates* that guide them home.

Generally, it is mothers, fathers, or other family members who bring the children.

Exceptionally, some children come on their own initiative.

Phases of La


The child rehabilitation process does not cover formal stages with defined time. On the contrary, the process adapts to the needs of each child; giving yourself personalized attention.

  • Home entrance is of the child’s own free will. Your incorporation into CIMA cannot be done without your consent. Upon entry, the child or teen signs a certificate of commitment to accept his or her entry. It is the same one that decides verbally and in writing. The only exception concerns children sent by the INABIF authorities. In this exceptional case the child is subject to the regulations that apply in the CARs and the regime of their entry, egress and exits is conditioned on the authorization of the competent administrative and/or judicial unit (cf. Legal Framework). The duration of stay in CIMA varies from 6 months to 3 years. In some exceptional cases the child may stay longer if the circumstances that have caused his or her entry into CIMA have not changed.
  • The first stage of the child’s entry into CIMA consists of a psychosocial evaluation interview in charge of the psychologist, social worker and nurse, in order to make a first diagnosis of the child’s situation and find out if CIMA represents the most suitable institution to receive the child, depending on the nature of his problems. On the other hand, the child must be aware of his problems and express his will for change. Written and signed authorization from the family or contact person who brought the child is also requested. A provisional entry card with the reasons for entry, physical description of the child and observations of the psychologist, social worker and nurse is given to the coordinator who places the child in a ward according to his/her age and the nature of his/her problems. The CIMA team will then be diagnosed more deeply.
  • The child’s integration stage in his ward is run by the tutor. He welcomes the child, explains how CIMA works, and introduces him to his housemates. During the first two weeks, the child rotates in the different workshops and then chooses the ones he likes the most. Then you are given your workshop and leveling schedules. Usually the time of adaptation of the child to the operation of CIMA (rules of coexistence, discipline, schedules…) takes a few months.
  • Child tracking is done on a daily basis by tutors and teachers through behavioral assessment systems to detect potential problems. Recurring behavioral problems are usually signs of a deeper discomfort of the child. Each day the tutors fill out a notebook about the child’s behavior (punctuality, respect for others, fulfillment of tasks). Also every day the teachers of leveling and workshops give the tutor a tab with notes of 1 to 5 that evaluates the behavior of the child. Positive evaluation of the child’s behavior conditions the stimuli the child receives (which can be hours of play, time to watch TV,…
  • Every week, the behaviour of children and adolescents is evaluated to encourage those with good behavior. Guardians typify children in their ward for positive, negative, or neutral behaviors. The “positives” are children who behave well and who also have a proactive and positive influence on others, unlike the “neutral” who behave well but do not seek to have any influence on the group. “Negatives” are those that have shown constant misrespect to what the tutor or teachers say or have engaged in inappropriate behavior. The “positives” receive applause and an invitation to the restaurant as a reward for four positive reviews. Negative evaluations do not cause correctiveness but serve to identify children who have recurring behavioral problems. If the child accumulates four negative evaluations in a short period of time, the pedagogical team (coordinator, tutors, teachers, psychologists and social workers) calls him to a meeting in which he is asked to improve his behavior at precise points.
  • If a team member identifies a problematic situation,talk directly to the child to identify the causes of the problem and try to resolve them. If necessary, refer the case to the psychologist. In the most severe cases (e.g. in case of assault or theft), the team team meets with the child to discuss the situation with him and find a solution.
  • As for discipline, the key principle of CIMA is that the child is part of a group with the other children in its ward. Each child actively participates in the discipline of the group and the group, in turn, has a positive influence on each of its members. The prominence within the group is a very important element. The child belongs to a group of up to 16 companions. The interaction between them is of paramount importance. It seeks to break the scheme that is limited to the interaction of an adult with a group of children. Everyone is responsible for the good running of the group. Also, if a child has behavioral problems, his peers have a duty to talk to him or her to change his or her attitude. If it doesn’t work, let the guardian know you can give a corrective. The tutor can also arrange meetings with the child and all of his ward colleagues to find a solution collectively. Depending on the age, the child’s stay time in CIMA and their situation, correctives may vary: farm help, physical exercises (running around the sports court) or additional tasks (e.g. cleaning). These correctives are considered as part of behavioral therapy. The goal is to change the child’s behavior, not punish him.
children's home