The National Children's Trust (PANI, for its acronym in Spanish) of the Republic of Costa Rica aims to "protect and promote the rights of Minors to potential or actual situations of violation." However, the Comptroller General of this country noted that "complaints are not met with sufficient and timely attention.”
According to the Annual Evaluation Report which targets, "a total of 41,027 minors on which the Board received complaints were dealt with only 28,877", representing 70.4% of the population. If one considers that the goal for the assessed year, which was 2012, was 77.5% respond to the demands of the target was close, but when we put aside the theoretical "there were 12,150 children and adolescents vulnerable and whose rights were not answered by the PME."
The coordinators of the 41 offices of PANI reported that the main cause that affects their work is "the lack of human resources." However, the Comptroller said that "the agency did not determine this issue nor did it make a clear definition of the professional profiles required to enable the allocation and distribution of personnel."
Those responsible pointed out other conditions that contribute to poor management as "the lack of vehicles for all interventions and follow corresponding caps on quotas shelters or NGOs or complaints with incomplete information".
The Comptroller also assessed the caseload and for that reviewed 140 records. Many "did not have documents which would prove the development of intervention plans that delineate the required attention for each child, nor did they have regular monitoring." In fact, 58% of the files did not have that guide action include addressing psychosocial processes and times.
Furthermore, "the omission or inappropriate referral to the courts was evident," among other issues. Other data collected by the Comptroller that may serve to understand why it did not meet the objective is that "actions for the promotion of children’s rights were not enough." Even though PANI made some efforts, which were highlighted by the auditors, the problems of development and social welfare in priority sectors still exist and must be resolved.
From 2012 an alternative system of recruitment of technicians and professionals "in order to strengthen the approach to the various problems of children and adolescents" services was implemented. But, according to the Comptroller of Costa Rica, "the system did not give the expected results "and among the main reasons is that by August 13th, 2013" only 7% of the resources had been allocated."
The technology is often used to facilitate the process, but using it usually starts in chaos and this is no exception. INFOPANI was intended to be an information system for the management of all activities but at the end of the audit "it could only give a partial answer to the requirements of the institution solution". It is that "it was not working in every office, therefore the data entry wasn’t even and it was difficult to monitor and control cases." In addition, "it did not allow timely statistics that reflect the effectiveness of the work of the Board to be made properly."