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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)


RESOURCES

  • Trauma-Informed Care in the Childcare and Family Placement Process: Miracle Foundation’s Approach Within Alternative Care in India
    Audria Chaudhary, 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 childcare institutions (CCIs), but also the inherent trauma that comes from a child being separated from her or his family. This article looks at how Miracle Foundation applies principles of TIC at every stage: from intake and care at a CCI while awaiting placement, to preparing children and families for transition, and finally to supporting post-placement. Following a brief background of the trauma surrounding institutional settings and its damage on children’s development drawn from existing literature, the article defines the principles of TIC: safety, choice, collaboration, trustworthiness and empowerment. The narrative then illustrates 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 childcare and placement process. Training government officials through a train-the-trainer model equip them to practise a strength-based approach with children and families. This also positions us for a systemic change when it comes to developing all members of the social workforce through system strengthening.

  • Tools for Working with Children in Institutional Care
    Counsel to Secure Justice , 2021

    This knowledge resource discusses and provides examples of practice tools, worksheets and calming techniques (in English and Hindi) which counsellors and adults can use while working with children who are in institutional care. These tools are developed and compiled by Counsel to Secure Justice (CSJ) based on experiences and interventions of working with children in institutions. Along with the tools, the paper reviews evidence on the impact of institutionalisation on children and evidence-based interventions that can help mitigate this impact while interweaving CSJ’s experiences and interventions. The latter part of the paper presents tools and calming techniques in the form of worksheets and pictorial representations. The tools and techniques in this resource are part of CSJ’s interventions with children in CCIsincluding in the form of in-person interactions/counselling, virtual interventions during COVID 19 and the restorative circle processes. The tools are developed and compiled to provide visual aid and illustration during counselling and other interactions with children. The exercises can help in engaging children to think and express. The tools can help build rapport and work with children who find it difficult to express their emotions and experiences verbally. The worksheets and calming techniques around coping can help the children practise the coping techniques and equip them to use it for themselves. CSJ understands these tools have limitations and are examples of practice tools and techniques adapted or modified by the counsellors. These are not a replacement of in-person, telephonic, individual or group counselling, therapy or any psychological/psychiatric intervention for severe mental health conditions and disorders. None of these tools can be used for psychological or psychometric testing or diagnosis.

  • Does de-institutionalization always serve ‘best interest’ of the child - A study of the ground realities of restoration of Children
    Catalyst for Social Action , 2020

    This paper is the result of a field study conducted by Catalysts for Social Action (CSA) on the outcomes of restoration of 29 ‘Children in Need of Care and Protection’ (CNCP) who were residing in Child Care Institutions (CCIs) in Madhya Pradesh. The study was conducted in the year 2018-19 to analyse the process which was followed, to look into the followup and support provided after the child was restored with the family, to gather information on the situation of the child, and find out the effect of deinstitutionalisation on various growth and development parameters of the children. The core argument of this paper is that while every child has a right to grow up with his / her family and the Government’s efforts towards restoration of institutionalised children with their family is a step in the right direction, undertaking the exercise without diligently following due process, without ascertaining whether the risk due to which the child was institutionalised has been mitigated, without ensuring that the family is supported to care for the child, and without periodic monitoring of the effect of restoration on the child, can lead to adverse outcomes for the child, contrary to the envisaged objective of restoration. This argument is supported by findings of the study, which reveals gaps in the system and indicates a degree of non-compliance with critical steps of the process. As a result, most of the children restored with their family were found to be living in detrimental circumstances. This leads to the question as to whether the deinstitutionalisation or restoration of children with family indeed proved to be in the best interest of the child, as it has been envisaged to be. In its conclusion, the paper recommends actions for policymakers and for the implementers drawing from finding of the study and CSA’s experience of working with stakeholders in the child protection system.