Home Institution

The College of Wooster

Language Proficiency Level

SPAN 3000

Publication Date

Spring 2013


This semester I worked with Aldea Infantiles SOS, an NGO aiming to place children without a concrete home or security into secure housing with a loving family. Founded in 1949 by a WWII veteran from Austria, this program has grown internationally with 119 autonomous members active in one hundred and thirty-three countries and governs itself through a system similar to the United Nations. Twice a week I traveled to the school, Ave Maria las Vistillas, where I volunteered with two groups of kids participating in the sports program, aiming to teach teamwork skills and improve integration into society.

For this cumulative paper, I asked what were some similarities between the public awareness of child mistreatment in the United States and Spain. Before this semester I did not know if the social services here were of the same manner as those in America or if they share the same social problems. I used my experience with this NGO as well as previous community service jobs in the United States to analyze the similarities and differences towards consciousness of child maltreatment in the community and schools. While much of my research came from personal observations and interviews, I conducted academic research about laws and regulations in both countries when working with children. After working with Aldea SOS and seeing the relation differences between the children and professors, I was curious to find out if this was the Spanish culture in all educational facilities and if this behavior impacted the amount and awareness of child abuse in Spain. While the United States promotes community awareness and laws aiming to protect children at risk of violence, it is still a huge problem and after my research I conclude that the cultural differences in the academic world make child abuse less of a prime issue in Spain because it takes place in fewer numbers. It is hard to make conclusions without making generalizations, but I hope to express my findings as my observations and communicate that they do not indicate one truth for all of Spain or the United States.


Family, Life Course, and Society | Inequality and Stratification | Social Welfare | Social Work


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