Associação S. José, through its “Life Support Center”, was the institution that ETMA employees chose to patronize throughout 2022. Once again under the motto “IMPROVING LIVES – TOGETHER FOR A CAUSE”, ETMA will continue to reinforce its Social Responsibility actions with the community.
Recently, and as a starting point for this patronized, ETMA was received by the psychopedagogue Elisabete Mota and the social worker Catarina Costa, responsible for the Life Support Center that temporarily shelters adolescents and young pregnant women and/or mothers up to 21 years of age and their children, who are at emotional or social risk, promoting their (re)integration. It plays an important role in society, although the institution has already received guidance that it may also include young pregnant women and/or mothers who, being older, do not have a promotion and protection agreement.
Maintaining a child and youth protection service is, therefore, the purpose of Associação S. José which, in addition to the Life Support Center, also offers day-care center, preschool and leisure activities center for children. of school age, promoting the global development of children and young people, from a perspective of education for citizenship, encouraging their insertion and contributing to equal opportunities.
However, on the verge of turning 52 and with the mission “Education and support for a future”, Associação S. José has encountered some difficulties, particularly in achieving partnerships that facilitate both the labor integration of the young people it welcomes, and psychological support, that they so badly need.
With a maximum reception of 10 mothers and 10 children, “most of our young people are referred to us either by the Commissions for the Protection of Children and Young People (CPCJ), either by the Courts or by the Multidisciplinary Court Advisory Teams (EMAT)”, underlines Elisabete Mota. Therefore, he adds, “our objective is that, while they are here, they can create savings so that, when one day they leave the institution, they will have a working capital to face any fatality or unforeseen event”.
It is in this context that, as Catarina Costa underlines, “in addition to integrating their children into our day-care center, we help these young women in their search for employment. Although this is one of our greatest difficulties, as we do not find much opening in the job market”. However, we always try to get them to look for a job, from Monday to Friday, during the daycare’s opening hours and to free them up on weekends so that they can not only have time to be with their children, but also train them to the path of autonomy and to be as prepared as possible when they have to leave the institution”.
As it is not an institution with great financial power, another of the difficulties it has encountered has to do with finding psychologists who voluntarily provide psychological support to these young women. “A regular follow-up that they so much need in order to raise their self-esteem and self-confidence so that they can take the leap”, maintains Elisabete Mota.
Within the scope of this patronized, ETMA, together with its employees, will now outline and put into practice actions and dynamics that can meet some of the needs of the Life Support Center, in particular aimed at young mothers and who them to help lay the groundwork and empower for the future.
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