Measure number 4 of the budget agreement between Isabel Díaz Ayuso and VOX contemplates the “performance of a specific audit of the costs of the services associated with centers for unaccompanied foreign minors”, that is, the Ayuso Government undertakes to spend at least 50,000 euros to perform that analysis before February 2022.
But the Ayuso Executive has already done this study. It was in March 2021. The Madrid government prepared a report to dismantle VOX. This work is included in the dossier prepared by the coalition government PP and Ciudadanos to refute the arguments of the extreme right and close a budget agreement. That pact was going to have been sealed, as reported by the SER, on March 10, 2021, the same day that Isabel Díaz Ayuso announced her electoral advance.
The General Directorate for Children, Families and Births prepared an eight-page report to dismantle VOX’s arguments about the cost for each foreign child in guardianship, who is cared for in the residential resources of the Community of Madrid.
The cost varies depending on the reception center. “Most of the foreign minors under guardianship are cared for by the ordinary network of the Community of Madrid, together with other minors who are not migrants, and whose average cost is lower than that reported by VOX”, explains the report prepared by the Department of Policies Social, at that time, directed by Ciudadanos.
The minors under guardianship are sheltered in residential centers that “are either hired by entities or by their own resources from the network of centers of the Madrid Agency for Social Care (AMAS)”. The economic cost depends directly “on the type of resource, not on the nationality”, and several examples are given. “If one compares the cost of a Public and Non-specific First Reception Center for migrant minors, the cost is much higher than that of a center for migrant minors, it rises to 7,200 euros.” But there is more example:
- The El Pinar Center, Specialized in migrant minors with adaptation difficulties and / or toxic consumption has been adjudicated by a price equivalent to 4,980 euros per month for each minor
- One first reception center like the one in the Casa de Campo, it currently costs 4.600 euros
- The monthly cost of a flat for migrant minors in the Community of Madrid ranges from 2,500 to 4,200 euros per child
- The framework agreement ‘Residential foster care in children’s homes’, It started from a price of 3.129 euros
- The framework agreement for residential care for adolescents starts at a price of 3,500 euros
These data show, according to the Ministry of Social Policies, that “the investment is not determined by reason of the nationality and profile of the minors, but by the type of public or concerted management, professional team and the intervention that is required.” And it is insisted that “a flat or center for migrant minors does not necessarily cost more than one for any minor protected by the Community of Madrid.”
This report carried out by the technicians of the General Directorate of Childhood, Families and Birth also includes a comparison with the rest of the communities. “The files tendered in recent years by other communities reflect that most of the prices for the care of these minors is above 4,200 euros.” Only Murcia, Aragon and Andalusia pay a lower amount per month than what is done in Madrid. In the rest of the regions the amount is higher, it is above those 4,200 euros, in the case of Galicia – with 5,032 euros per month-, the Balearic Islands – with 5,803 euros-, Valencia – with 6,546 euros-, Euskadi – with 5,903 euros euros- and Navarra – with 5,772 euros-.
During 2020, 3,044 minors were cared for in the Community of Madrid. Of these, 822 were migrant minors, of which there were 324 minors under guardianship. The report also includes an exhaustive detail on the type of assistance resources. There are 97 reception centers with 1,875 places, of which 1,053 are arranged:
- There are 3 urgent reception centers with 145 places of their own and 66 arranged
- There are 3 early childhood residences with 111 places of their own
- There are 21 children’s homes with 501 own places and 153 arranged
- There are 20 children’s homes with 265 arranged places
- There are 13 adolescent resources with 21 places of their own and 109 arranged
- There are 19 resources for foreign minors with 44 places of their own and 195 arranged
- There are 8 residences for therapeutic treatment with 130 arranged places
- There are 10 residences for minors with disabilities with 135 arranged places
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.