Maria Ribas Siñol

Hospital Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona, Spain

Children’s mental health in the child protection system: new models of therapeutic approach

The child protection system currently has six times the prevalence of mental disorder as in the general population. These are children and adolescents with mental pathology often associated with childhood traumas, with high clinical, social and family vulnerability. The models of approach and specialized treatment in this population require interventions focused on the person, multidisciplinary and with specific therapeutic educational models. San Juan de Dios has 2 units specialized in the clinical treatment of children under guardianship – some of them with serious transgressions that require the intervention of the juvenile justice system – and others at serious risk of social exclusion. The development of a specific area attended by health professionals aims to make the general population aware of the needs of this group and also to develop effective and efficient treatment models that respond both to prevention and to treatment and rehabilitation in the child’s or adolescent’s own natural and family environment. Last April 2018, a Residential Educational Therapeutic Unit was specifically inaugurated as a result of a collaboration agreement between the Department of Health and Social Welfare, managed by health professionals from the Hospital San Juan de Dios in Barcelona, which incorporates models of care centred on the person, interdepartmental, based on the paradigm of complex trauma and positive discipline among other specialised approaches at a multidisciplinary level, and with maximum community intervention. The centre is based on a zero contention model with high interaction between professionals and patients.

Maria Ribas is a Clinical Psychologist, head of the Residential Educational Therapeutic Unit Acompanya’m – Hospital San Juan de Dios in Barcelona since 2018 and Clinical Coordinator of the Therapeutic Unit of the Centro Educativo Els Til.lers-Parque Sanitario San Juan de Dios since 2006. She holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychopathology, a Master’s degree in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy from Ramon Llull University in Barcelona and a Master’s degree in Prevention and Treatment of Violence from the University of Extremadura. She is a specialist in child abuse and family violence by the University of Extremadura and obtained a specialization in clinical management by the University of Deusto, Bilbao. In addition, she is Associate Medical Professor at the University of Barcelona – Faculty of Psychology since 2016 and principal investigator in Spain in the European Project Fact for Minors Fostering alternative care for troubled minors carried out between 2016-2018. Member of the Ethics Committee in Social Intervention of San Juan de Dios since 2010, and member of the Infant Youth Section of the Healthcare Ethics Committee of the San Juan de Dios Health Park since 2018.






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Con la colaboración de:

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