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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

  • 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.

  • Beyond 18 : Leaving Child Care Institutions – Supporting Youth Leave Care: A Study of Aftercare Practices
    Udayan Care, Tata Trusts and UNICEF, 2019

    This report on Aftercare is based on research on “Current Aftercare Practices” (CAP), with regard to Children in Need of Care and Protection (CNCP), under the JJ Act, 2015, conducted in five states of India, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. It is about the status of Aftercare youth, or Care Leavers (CLs), who as wards of the state in the child protection system, while they were below the age of eighteen, we are entitled to care, protection, treatment, development, rehabilitation and re-integration by the state – as explicitly stated in the Preamble of the JJ Act, 2015. On attaining the age of majority – i.e. eighteen years, they are now compelled to transition from state care in a Child Care Institution (CCI) to adulthood in the wider community. The study aims to influence the contemporary care leaving policy, law and practice in India.