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Aftercare

According to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 (JJ Act 2015), aftercare refers to ‘making provision of support, financial or otherwise, to persons, who have completed the age of eighteen years but have not completed twenty-one years, and have left any institutional care to join the mainstream of society’. Aftercare can be termed as a preparatory stage for young adults during which they are provided financial support, training in skills, handholding for career development, counselling for managing emotions and such other measures that contribute to the process of their social mainstreaming. It is the final stage in the continuum of care of institutionalized children. They are not left alone after completion of stay in institutions but are helped for a certain duration to enable their reintegration in the society. (Aftercare, Udayan Care and UNICEF India Country Office, 2016)


RESOURCES

  • Education, poverty and social exclusion: assessment of youth leaving care
    Kiran Modi, Suman Kasana, Ali Azam, and Lakshmi Madhavan, 2021

    In developing nations like India, education has remained inaccessible to many, especially vulnerable children and youth. Upon turning 18 years of age, youth who have lived in child care institutions are expected to leave care and transition into independent life on their own. While they receive basic education and vocational training in care, it falls short of the quality higher education necessary for a smooth transition towards independent living. In an assessment of the situation of such youth in five States of India, Udayan Care, an NGO working with children and youth found that most of the Care Leavers (CLs) were forced to compromise on education and pursue jobs with low remuneration. This study examines the interrelatedness of education, poverty and social exclusion among CLs through secondary literature and empirical data from Udayan Care’s national study. Analysing the findings from the lens of the Capability Approach, the gaps in provisions of educational support to CLs and subsequent limitations to address challenges of poverty and social exclusion of this population are highlighted, also making recommendations on ways to improve CLs’ outcomes

  • Empowering Youth Leaving Care at 18
    Catalysts For Social Action , 2020

    This paper describes a potentially scalable approach to the issue of reintegrating children who have grown up in institutional care into mainstream society when they leave care on turning 18 years. It shares the experience of Catalysts for Social Action (CSA), and A Future for Every Child (AFEC) in implementing the ‘Bridge to Adulthood (B2A)’ program. The program seeks to prepare effectively and equip children in institutional care and CLs with the knowledge and skills necessary to lead a respectable life outside care, and also helps them identify and be trained for a career they wish to pursue. The program has supported 327 Care Leavers(CLs) from June 2016-December 2019. The B2A program addresses gaps in the present system of rehabilitation and reintegration of children in institutional care by: a. Preparing children for life outside institutional care through age-appropriate life skills training to develop self- awareness and confidence, and also become familiar with necessary concepts and tools for an independent life; b. Supporting young adults for higher education and vocational training by helping them develop a career plan based on their interest and aptitude, and gain vocational skills or pursue higher education to become economically self-sufficient; c. Providing mentoring support for two years after job placement to ensure that they are firmly on the path to self-sufficiency, through Program Officers who keep in touch with the CL, to know about their whereabouts and support them where necessary. The paper goes on to give an account of the strategies and outcomes of the implementation of the program in the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Goa between June 2016 and December 2019. It presents data of 327 CLs across the four states, describing their demographic characteristics, career choices, job placement statistics, and earning potential. In its conclusion, the paper analyses the program to scale to a large number of CLs, and lists areas of improvement and future work.

  • Aftercare Strategic Overview 2020-21
    Make a Difference, 2020

    After successfully working with children in child care institutions over the years, Make A Difference started tracking the outcomes of care leavers beyond child care institutions. Make A Difference conducted multiple research to identify some critical drivers that act as a potential barrier for care leavers to achieve outcomes equitable with the middle class. Based on the data from the research and the need analysis, Make A Difference initiated Aftercare intervention in 2014 intending to build a long term holistic intervention extending until the age of 28 depending on the support required for the care leaver. Make A Difference believes stability across four broad areas together would provide the necessary foundations required for the care leavers to achieve and sustain middle-class outcomes. These areas include personal, financial, living and family conditions of the care leavers. Make A Difference has identified some key trajectory points or events that affect an individual’s ability to continue or to progress towards a healthy and stable middle-class life. Factoring in the strategies and the aftercare theories of change, Make A Difference has developed an age transitional model for the aftercare demography which is built along three stages or bands of aftercare intervention. These bands are primarily based on the age group of the care leaver, and the support required to prioritise interventions better depending on what the care leaver needs at any given age. The primary delivery model for aftercare interventions at Make A Difference is through self-support groups, this model is targeted to build long term self-sustainable communities of care leavers in the cities that aftercare programme is currently operating in.