Value and activity
Herein principles and guidelines of values of “Il Melograno” network.
- The child as “juridical subject”, according to which children are human beings with their own rights to be exercised directly from birth to protect their own interests. In particular, we refer here to their right to have their own family.
Thus, this principle clearly refers to the centrality of the child: children and their welfare condition within a family context must be the object of interest to the society to which they belong.
- Principle of the care family as a resource, according to which the family must be considered as a “tool” for the child, civil society and institutional society. A family that perceives itself as an actor and promoting agent of change, and uses the international network as a tool to reach a wider audience.
- Principle of the minor’s right to have an adequate and prepared family, according to which, in applying the various forms of childhood protection, the aim of giving the child the best possible family, i.e. adequately trained and prepared to take care of him, must be achieved.
- Principle of the subsidiary character, according to which, in applying the various forms of protection for minors, existing and allowed by national law, we must act:
· First of all, in favour of the biological family, if any and if it can actually be recovered (supporting the biological family and/or fostering*)
· Secondarily, in favour of national adoption
· Thirdly and lastly, but in any case guaranteed, in favour of international adoption.
*The forms of temporary protection must be applied if the tie with the biological family really exists and if it can be strengthened; otherwise, the forms of definitive care must be preferred.
Which sectors of our work will be involved?
- Juridical-legislative sector
· The incompleteness, inadequacy and the lack of application of the laws in favour of family care: our work is to promote the inclusion of the parameter of the ‘family tie’ for the assessment of the ‘state of abandonment’ of the minor;
· The distortion of protection forms: our work is to fight the idea of ‘advantage of being an orphan’, privileges and supports which determine false expectations for institutionalised minors; the advantage of ‘not adopting’, subsidies and concessions in favour of fostering families which transform the ‘temporary’ into a ‘definitive’ solution; the social exclusion created by the institute, insufficient guarantees of insertion in society and of acquisition of socio-cognitive skills.
- Cultural sector
· The support offered by residential institutes instead of family care: our work is to reduce to the minimum the number of minors in institutionalised care, as well as their stay period there;
· The stubborn preservation/protection of ‘blood ties at all costs’: our work is to change the adult-centred culture of the ‘right of the adult over the child’ promoting removal from parental responsibilities in cases where the parents-child relationship cannot be recovered or where it no longer exists (or where the parents do not take any care of the child and therefore cannot be recovered);
· Religious and cultural integralism: our work is to ensure the minor’s right to a family and thus, all forms of care beyond religious rules or belonging to a particular national identity;
· Stereotypes (the solutions prescribed and strictly applied), clichés (institutionalised children suffer from serious disorders which are not treatable), prejudices (children are not able to express their desires and thus are not involved in proceedings about themselves): our work is to fight all these positions, which do not favour the achievement of the higher interest of the minor.
- Sector of the system functioning
· The complex administrative procedures of the system: our work is to promote a clear and final definition of the juridical status of the minor from the very first time he or she is separated from the family (or at the beginning of his or her institutionalisation), as well to simplify the care proceedings;
· The inadequate preparation of the school system: our work is to promote a scholastic environment adequately prepared to include and protect minors in family care;
· The judicial component of the system: our work is to promote the responsibility of the judicial institutions in carrying out their functions in favour of minors, who have to be taken into family care.