Care In Institutions

Institutional care refers to the care, protection, rehabilitation and social reintegration of children in difficult and vulnerable circumstances in an institutional setting under the guidance and supervision of child care professionals whose actions are governed by the standards as prescribed by the law of the land. The Juvenile Justice Act 2015 sets standards of care and protection for children for different types of child care institutions. It is important to note that the focus of child care in India as well as in many countries across the world has shifted from institutional to family or community-based child care, as is recommended by international instruments on child care and researches on the issue. This change in approach is reflected in India’s National Policy for Children 2013, which has identified one of its key priorities as ensuring a range of care options that are non-institutional, family-based and community-based. (Standards of Care in Child Care Institutions, Udayan Care and UNICEF India Country Office, 2016)


  • Trauma-informed care in the child care and family placement process – Miracle Foundation’s approach within alternative care in India
    Audria Choudhary, Miracle Foundation, 2020

    Trauma-informed care (TIC) is critical in institutional settings to address not only the trauma of experiences that lead children to be enrolled into alternative care such as child care institutions (CCI), but also the inherent trauma that comes from a child being separated from her or his family. Miracle Foundation (henceforth referred to as Miracle) ensures the rights of the child are met while she/he is at an institution while working towards placing every child into a safe, loving family. This article looks at how Miracle Foundation applies principles of trauma-informed care at every stage: from intake and care at a CCI while awaiting placement, to preparing children and families for transition, and finally to monitoring and support post-placement. Following a brief background of the trauma surrounding institutional settings and its damage on children’s development drawn from existing literature, we will define the principles of traumainformed care: safety, choice, collaboration, trustworthiness, and empowerment. The narrative will then illustrate how these principles are applied with children, families, and CCI staff through capacity building, access to counselling and mental health resources, and dedicated guidance by Miracle team members throughout the child care and placement process. Training government officials through a train-the-trainer model equips them to practice a strength-based approach with children and families. Government officials in turn pass this methodology to all CCIs in their purview, broadening our impact multifold. This also positions us for systematic change when it comes to developing all members of the social workforce through system strengthening. By building up a robust mental health program rooted in both prevention and intervention, Miracle has worked to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health prevalent in the South Asian context and ensure the best interest of the child. This will add to the larger body of work on best practices related to applying the theoretical aspects of trauma-informed care on the ground.

  • Educational policy and practice that promote care reform
    Miracle Foundation, 2021

    This article establishes an evidence-based link between a child’s right to education and the right to family. Miracle Foundation works to ensure that every child has an opportunity to grow up in a family, to become a healthy, happy, educated, income-producing person and experience a true sense of belonging. By leveraging its proprietary Thrive Scale™ methodology, the organization facilitates transitioning children from CCIs back with family or family-based - alternative care options, ensuring fulfilment of children’s rights right where they are in the communities. More than 250 children were sent back home from some of Miracle’s partner CCIs during the first wave of the pandemic. Miracle Foundation had been working to build the capacity of its CCI partners on integrated case management, particularly coining the expedited case management to effect safe and permanent reintegration of children during the emergency crisis situation like the pandemic. Within this larger context of upholding a child’s overall right to family, Miracle Foundation is committed to ensuring that there is no disruption in the educational journey of the child as they walk the reintegration path. The paper brings out how in keeping with its belief, and upholding the spirit of the order of the Supreme Court of India, to cater to the educational needs of children who have been restored with families, Miracle Foundation undertook a mix of hybrid/blended educational interventions. The paper highlights Miracle's learnings, insights, and challenges in this journey.

  • Handbook for Facilitation of Restorative Practices in Child Care Institutions
    Enfold Proactive Health Trust , 2021

    Restorative Circles are part of a wider continuum of practices in Restorative Justice, which include both formal and informal processes. These may include restorative conversations, Family Group Conferences, VictimOffender Dialogues, and Restorative Circles. Restorative Circles can also be of many types. This Handbook focuses on the work undertaken by the Restorative Practices Team at Enfold, with children residing in CCIs. Since 2019, the Restorative Practice team at Enfold Proactive Health Trust has been facilitating Restorative Circles with the staff and children of Observation Homes, Place of Safety, and Children’s Homes under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. This Handbook has been developed to share the insights that have emerged from our experience of facilitating over 250 Circles with children and adults. We believe that Restorative Practice is a way of life, and so our understanding and practice of Restorative Circles will always continue to evolve. Therefore, this Handbook is an initial offering gleaned from our learning so far, learning that has come from engagement with theory and conceptual frameworks and with practice with children and our team through regular Praxis. We hope this will be useful for organisations and individuals who have undergone basic training on Restorative Circles and wish to facilitate Circles with children in CCI or other settings.