Castalla launches the 1st Municipal Childhood and Adolescence Plan

  • The Plenary unanimously approved the project of the Youth and Social Services departments, which will run for four years

Castalla Town Council has approved the 1st Municipal Plan for Children and Adolescents. This plan aims to address the needs and concerns of local people in these crucial stages of life, as well as to guarantee the developmental rights of children and adolescents. The Ordinary Plenary Session in March unanimously endorsed the project launched at the initiative of the Social Services and Youth Departments. The plan will be developed over the next four years (2021 and 2024) together with the consultancy firm ‘Equàlitat, participació i igualtat’ and the Department of Participation, Transparency, Cooperation and Democratic Quality. The initiative was born with the intention of looking after minors, protecting their rights and freedoms, guaranteeing their comprehensive development and satisfying their basic needs in order to achieve maximum social wellbeing.

The councillor for Social Services, Maite Gimeno, stressed “the responsibility we have taken on in the government team to guarantee and satisfy the basic needs of the children and adolescents of Castalla in terms of food, health, education, culture, politics, recreation and social matters, so that they can develop in conditions of fullness and happiness”. The councillor also stressed the need to address situations of vulnerability in this age group.

To this end, within the I Plan for Children and Adolescents of the city, a first phase of diagnosis has been carried out. The aim of this initial part has been to organise the information and help the citizens of Castalla to have as much information as possible about the activities that will be implemented over the next few years. The conclusions of the study -which has used qualitative and quantitative methods-, allow to detect the weaknesses, threats, strengths and opportunities of the municipality. Thus, thanks to this analysis, it will be possible to design public policies adapted to the existing reality of young people and adolescents in Castalla.

The project is the result of dialogue with all the agents directly involved in its implementation. The main municipal actors, the associative fabric and the educational centres have participated in drafting it. In addition, the young people themselves have contributed their point of view, needs and concerns in the numerous interviews and group dynamics in which they have taken part.

In addition, one of the most important points of the plan is the creation of the ‘Municipal Council for Childhood and Adolescence’. The councillor for Youth, Román Sáez, explained that “through this body we want to give a leading role to our young people and provide them with a place where they can express their opinions”. At the same time, added the councillor, “we adults are committed to listening to them and understanding them, with the firm will to take into account what they tell us”.

From now on, activities, campaigns and actions in multiple areas related to youth and adolescence will begin. The main lines of action are: encouraging participation in the social life of the municipality, disseminating the values and principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, offering educational leisure and free time programmes, disseminating information, attending to the suggestions of young people, protecting those who are at risk of social exclusion or in a situation of vulnerability, promote social action and intercultural activities, educate in equality, work on the prevention of addictive behaviour, promote sports and cultural consumption as healthy leisure options, encourage health and the acquisition of healthy habits, and support the quality of the city’s environment, incorporating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

All the actions carried out will be published in the Transparency Portal of the City Council to guarantee maximum knowledge by the citizens and to promote active participation in the different phases of the project.

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