Once the Catalan Board for Childhood and, subsequently, the six regional boards were set up, we had no knowledge of the number of and situation surrounding regional boards, or indeed the number of and situation surrounding childhood and adolescence networks. Those of us involved in the Master’s Degree in Prevention and Treatment of Family Violence (IL3-University of Barcelona) saw the need to identify local networks and boards for childhood in Catalonia in order to draw up an initial diagnosis and, on that basis, to design a more comprehensive study and bring about an influence on public policies for childhood, adolescence and families.
This article sets out a summary of the results gleaned. It has been carried out with no funding as a voluntary contribution to the improvement of public policies. The 103 basic social services departments in Catalonia were invited to participate, of which 43 responded. This made it possible to identify 34 county-wide and municipal networks and boards. The variables we analysed are as follows: year of establishment, origin of the initiative, budget, objectives, structure, participants, activities, coordination with other networks, forums for participation from children and adolescents, assessment, strengths and aspects for improvement. We established two levels of analysis, distinguished according to regional area and between networks and boards.
The need for public support for these initiatives is identified in order to provide an adequate response to the mandate established in the law on rights and opportunities for childhood and adolescence (LDOIA, 2010). As a result of this analysis, we have drawn up several proposals for improvement for the various boards and networks.