• A critical analysis of the recent developments in alternative care space across South Asia amidst the Covid-19 crisis
    Kiran Modi, Gurneet Kalra, Leena Prasad, Rajeshwari Narsimha & Jyoti Singh, 2021.

    This paper focuses on the recent developments in policies and arrangements in the alternative care space in the South Asian countries, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. It also highlighted the impact of COVID-19 on alternative care space in South Asian countries, its effect on the children living in alternative care, and the measures taken by respective governments in these countries to support them during the pandemic. It stated that an assessment of the recent developments in the policies related to alternative care space in different countries is crucial for understanding the problems faced when dealing with children in institutional care as well as the impact on the de-institutionalisation process due to COVID-19. It is a secondary review of desk research on such developments to understand the possible post-COVID-19 impacts on functionary and regulatory changes in alternative care systems for ‘Children without Parental Care’ in the South Asian region.

    Supreme Court of India, 2021.

    The Supreme Court observed that the information submitted by States/UTs on the status of schemes and relief measures announced for children who have lost parent(s) to COVID-19 is not clear. The court directed the States/UTs to upload the data of children who have lost a parent after March 2020 either to COVID-19 or otherwise without any delay. Further directions regarding the identification of the affected children and the steps to be taken by the concerned authorities have been given in this order.

    Supreme Court of India, 2021.

    In this order, the Supreme Court passed directions to States/UTs for the measures to be taken for children who have lost parent(s) to COVID-19 to ensure their care and well-being. The court also authorised the Amicus Curiae to collect information on the status of schemes and relief measures announced by States/UTs for children who have lost parent(s) to COVID-19.

  • COVID, Its Impact on the Mental Health of Caregivers in Childcare Institutions of South Asian Countries and Their Coping Techniques
    Kiran Modi, Gurneet Kalra, Leena Prasad and Najeebullah Babrakzai, 2021.

    This paper documents mental health status of caregivers (residential staff staying with children), in residential care spaces in the COVID times and to determine how the new stresses impacted them and the coping patterns they acquired in current situation; across different countries of South Asia, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. This exploratory rapid assessment project aimed to reach out to the registered childcare homes/ institutions, across the South Asian region, with the help of different NGOs, as well as Government mechanisms. The data was collected through purposive sampling and analyzed quantitatively where the sample included the selected caregivers of participating CCIs across these nations. This study aimed to synthesize the responses of caregivers across the region; develop an analysis, which may help authorities to rethink, reform and strengthen the current practices, in order to develop approach-centered strategies for improving the well-being of caregivers as this has a direct bearing on the well-being of children in their care.

  • Psychosocial First Aid (PFA) for children affected by COVID0-19: A manual for first responders
    NIMHANS, 2020.

    The spread of the COVID-19 virus has added a new dimension of vulnerability to the lives of children. Millions of vulnerable children are losing out on their development and learning opportunities and their right to survive and thrive. The mental health and psychosocial impact of restricted movement, school closures and subsequent isolation are likely to intensify already high levels of stress which children from vulnerable sections face. Risk factors for violence, abuse and neglect are reportedly on the rise for children living under restricted movement and socio-economic decline. One indicator is a 50% rise in calls to CHILDLINE 1098 since the outbreak of the pandemic. Girls and women are at increased risk of sexual and gender-based violence. Children of migrant workers returning to their villages in India brings with it reduced access to services and protection. Isolation measures to contain COVID-19 have led to an economic crisis as many families are losing jobs and livelihoods. This is likely to affect children the worst and their mental health as well. With the rising death toll, this pandemic has taken the shape of a disaster. The COVID-19 pandemic brings a lot of stress, anxiety, fear, grief, and worry for everyone, causing severe mental health problems. For those children who are directly (or indirectly) affected by COVID-19, the stress and trauma could be many times more and may have severe consequences if not addressed in a timely manner. They need specialised help through trained professionals. Although everyone is affected by the pandemic at a psychosocial level, some children might require additional care and attention, which require some special skills to address. Psychosocial First Aid (PFA) is a method of helping children having a moderate level of distress to feel calm and supported to cope better with their challenges. This manual is intended to refresh and enhance the knowledge and skills of first responders for providing Psychosocial First Aid to children. They primarily include counsellors and social workers placed with District Child Protection Units (DCPU), ChildLine, one-stop centres and district mental health programmes and other mental health professionals. However, health care workers trained in counselling can also make use of this manual. Individuals who wish to volunteer their services to support children who have been affected by COVID-19 and have undergone adequate training in providing this Psychosocial First Aid may also benefit from this manual. The manual follows a participatory intervention method.

  • Suo Moto Writ Petition (Civil) No. 4 of 2020 IN RE: CONTAGION OF COVID 19 VIRUS IN CHILD PROTECTION HOMES
    Supreme Court of India, 2020.

    The Supreme Court issued a set of directions to States and Union Territories to address the educational needs of children in Child Care Institutions and those who have been restored to their families during the pandemic. The directions were passed by a bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi issued the directions in the suo moto case "In Re Contagion of COVID19 Virus in Children Protection Homes".

  • Rapid Need Assessment of Support for Youth Care Leavers in the Context of COVID-19 Pandemic in Maharashtra
    Aditya Charegaonkar, Ph.D Scholar, TISS, 2020.

    The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on people across the country leading to difficulties in accessing basic necessities and continues to threaten the survival of a large number of people in the country. Amongst these groups of people are youth care leavers (YCL). Youth care leavers are individuals who have completed their stay in child care institutions (CCIs) and aftercare hostels and are now trying to transition into mainstream society. At this juncture, it is crucial to take into account the needs of and challenges faced by YCL to enforce mechanisms that would provide them adequate support during their stay and coordinate with them upon their departure to ensure that they are able to settle down. In this context, a study was carried out through telephonic interviews with YCL spread across Maharashtra. A total of 442 respondents agreed to participate in the survey and this report is based on data analysis of their responses to the structured interview schedule that was used to get responses from them.

    Supreme Court of India, 2020.

    The Supreme Court passed various directions in a suo moto case titled ‘In Re: Contagion of COVID-19 virus in Children Protection Homes’ to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus to Child Care Institutions. The division bench comprising of Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Deepak Gupta issued a number of directions and measures to Child Welfare Committee, Juvenile Justice Boards, Child Care Institutions and State Governments across India. The order also spoke about safeguards for children in kinship care and foster care.

  • Rights of Vulnerable Families and Children of India under COVID-19: Implications for effective response and mitigation strategies
    Save the Children India, 2020.

    Through a Rapid Needs Assessment, Save the Children undertook the task to understand, as a result of COVID-19, the most important challenges at the household level, various distress measures for meeting family needs, effects on children's education, key concerns with regard to children, and other needs of the population. The results of the assessment are intended to help Save the Children in India develop, review, and align its COVID-19 response strategy and programming in order to respond to and support children with their specific needs.

  • Care and the COVID-19 Challenge: The Missing Link in the Fulfilment of Educational needs of Children and Young Persons Living in Alternative Care
    Kiran Modi, Leena Prasad & Gurneet Kalra, 2020.

    This paper, published in Indian Journal of School Health and Wellbeing which highlights the importance of addressing and gearing the overall child protection system along with the education system of India thereby providing recommendations and highlighting the importance of training and sensitizing teachers and carer staff in schools in handling children without parental care. The paper highlights the existing gaps in the rights to education of children in vulnerable groups, challenges faced by them with respect to mental health issues, emotional distress, and trauma which consequently impacted their academic performance. It also highlights the importance of widening the understanding of childhood trauma, and developing a clear policy to provide guidance about safeguarding children at large, in particular children coming from institutions.

    Supreme Court of India, 2020.

    In the light of the news of children getting infected with coronavirus in a CCI in Chennai and in continuation of the order of Supreme Court dated 3 April 2020, to ensure care and protection of children in CCIs, the Supreme Court directed the State governments for monitoring the status of children in institutions and in need of care and protection during COVID 19 and tasked the High Court Juvenile Justice Committees to ensure that State governments provide the information to the Supreme Court in the format developed by the Court. The format also collates challenges being faced by the child protection functionaries and examples of any good practices that can be shared for learning and replication

  • Rights of Children in the Times of COVID-19 – A Policy Brief
    Alliance for Right to ECD, COVID Response Alliance of India on Child Protection (CRAICP), India Alternative Care Network (IACN), ProChild Coalition, Right to Education Forum, Right to Food Campaign, Working Group on Human Rights to India and the UN (WGHR), 2020.

    Childhoods stand threatened by the unprecedented social and economic disruption due to COVID-19 pandemic. Among those severely impacted are children of migrant workers, children of daily wage earners, child labourers, children in street situations, child care institutions, or conflict zones, children in need of care and protection, children in conflict with the law, pregnant girls, children with disabilities, transgender children, children living with HIV/AIDS, children living in poverty, children in abusive, violent or exploitative situations, children of sex workers and prisoners, refugee children, foreign children residing in child care institutions, children affected or likely to be affected by other natural disasters, such as 'Amphan', floods in Assam, etc. The lockdown period will also forever be marked by the millions of people who in a bid to survive, undertook mass distress migration back to their native villages. The policy brief contains recommendations for action for practitioners and policymakers to uphold the rights of all children during COVID-19.

  • Psychosocial Support for Children during COVID-19 – A Manual for Parents and Caregivers
    UNICEF India and CHIDLINE India Foundation, 2020.

    The purpose of this Manual is to provide parents, caregivers, support persons, and children and adolescent themselves, a tool that will enable them to understand what is COVID-19 and how it can be prevented, help them manage related stress, fear and anxiety, and recognise the increased risk of violence, which can help to them to stay safe. The Manual, which is designed for two different age cohorts: 6 years to 10 years, and 11 years to 19 years, contains activities and play methods to keep children engaged positively and provide them platforms to express their emotions.

  • Guidelines for Child Care Institutions under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015 in the context of COVID – 19
    Enfold Proactive Health Trust and UNICEF Field Office of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Telangana, 2020.

    Urgent measures need to be taken on priority to prevent the spread of the virus to child care institutions and respond to any COVID infection that may arise among the children or the staff caring for them. The Supreme Court of India gave directions on 03.04.30 in In re Contagion of COVID 19 Virus in Children Protection Homes, Suo Motu Writ Petition (Civil) No.4 of 2020. Guidance for Persons in Charge of child care institutions established under the JJ Act, 2015 on how to effectively implement this order to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19 in child care institutions, is the immediate need of the hour. These Guidelines for Persons in Charge of child care institutions, and the Guidance for consideration by the Child Welfare Committees and Juvenile Justice Boards based on this Supreme Court judgment has been prepared by a multidisciplinary team consisting of a trained social worker, medical doctors, and legal researchers, with inputs from experts on the field.

  • Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Prevention and Management of COVID-19 in Child Care Institutions (Hindi)
    Udayan Care, 2020.

    This SOP is aimed at organisations and caregivers working with children in care institutions. It provides precautionary management measures, preparedness tips and guidance on psychosocial support for the safety and well- being of children in child care institutions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Prevention and Management of COVID-19 in Child Care Institutions (English)
    Udayan Care, 2020.

    This SOP is aimed at organisations and caregivers working with children in care institutions. It provides precautionary management measures, preparedness tips and guidance on psychosocial support for the safety and well- being of children in child care institutions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Expedited Case Management Process for Permanent Placement in Families after COVID-19 Lockdown
    Miracle Foundation India, 2020.

    As part of preventive and containment measures of COVID-19, many children from child care institutions have been sent home since the onset of the pandemic. In this guidance by Miracle Foundation, they leverage their case management process and tools to ensure children are safe, to identify areas of need and put together an intervention plan to ensure permanency or a safe return to other alternative family placements or CCI.

  • Tips and Techniques for Virtual Counselling
    Counsel to Secure Justice , 2020.

    Counsel to Secure Justice is re-imagining its course of intervention and building its capacity to manoeuvre the challenges with respect to virtual counselling to respond to the psychosocial and emotional needs of children. This document is a compilation of counsel to Secure Justice’s learning and aims to assist professionals working with children.

  • Practitioners Manual for Child Care Institutions – Do’s and Dont’s during the Pandemic
    Youth Council for Development Alternatives, 2020.

    This manual provides guidance to practitioners working with child care institutions on do’s and don’t’s during the pandemic to ensure the protection and well-being of children.