University of Oviedo
Laura García Alba got a PhD in Education and Psychology, and she is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Psychology of the University of Oviedo and member of the Family and Childhood Research Group. Her research focuses on the development, implementation and evaluation of programs related to supporting the transition to independent living of young people under the protection system in Spain, as well as the development of related evaluation instruments. She is the author of the PLANEA Program for the promotion of life skills and personal autonomy for young people in residential care and a member since 2019 of the international network INTRAC for the research on transitions to adult life from the protection system (International Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood from Care).
“Good practices for the participation model”
PLANEA Program: life skills and personal autonomy in residential care
PLANEA is an independent living skills promotion program designed to work with young people living in foster care from 14 years onwards, developed as an update of the Umbrella program (Del Valle and García-Quintanal, 2005), in which the initial contents have been adapted and expanded to adjust to the current needs of young people in residential care, presented through an online platform.
The activities of the PLANEA program are organized into nine main theme areas which are made up of different sections of activities. Aspects such as health, the search for training and employment, money management or home care are dealt with, among others. These activities are designed to be performed by young people in close collaboration with their main educator, with whom they jointly establish a work scheme adapted to the situation, needs and profile of each boy or girl. Therefore, it is a working tool for educational teams when planning objectives concerning personal autonomy in protection homes as well as to strengthen, through intervention the relationship of trust between young people and educators.
Its assessment is carried out through the PLANEA Scales: a multi-informant system of tools for assessing skills for independent living and personal autonomy, developed and validated psychometrically with excellent results (García-Alba et al., 2021, 2022).
This program has been piloted and is currently implemented in the Region of Castilla-La Mancha, where it is used by more than 40 residential resources and more than 200 young people have been registered to date in it. Now it is under an implementation process in other regions and entities of Spain.