Giving Compass’ Take:
• Vipul Jain at IDR goes over how and why childcare institutions in India need to change and not be treated as a last resort.
• Why are childcare institutionalizations looked at like a ‘measure of last resort’? How can we ensure that the children will be safe and that these systems will not be taken advantage of?
There are many children in this country who lack a stable home and family. These include abandoned, surrendered and trafficked children, orphans, as well as children with families that are unable to look after them. These children in need of care and protection are placed in childcare institutions such as children’s homes, open shelters, observation homes, special homes, places of safety, and specialised adoption agencies. As per a study done by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, there are more than 9,500 institutions hosting over 3,70,000 children in the country.
“While rehabilitation back with a parent or community is laudable, it is fraught with the danger of putting children back into the same environment they were rescued from in the first place.”
The National Policy for Children 2013 reiterates India’s commitment to such children in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It states that “the State shall endeavour to secure the rights of children temporarily or permanently deprived of parental care, by ensuring family and community-based care arrangements including sponsorship, kinship, foster care, and adoption, with institutionalisation as a measure of last resort, with due regard to the best interests of the child and guaranteeing quality standards of care and protection”.
Read the full article about childcare institutions in India by Vipul Jain at India Development Review.