Resource Center on Alternative Care
Thousands of children live outside of family care. Research has shown repeatedly that children living outside of family care experience negative effects on their development and may be amongst the most that are susceptible to violence, abuse and exploitation. It is found through various researches that children growing in proper family care show better growth and development than those who grow up in residential care/without family care. As per the National Family Health Survey 2015-16 (NFHS-4), overall, 5% of children under the age of 18 years are orphans, the percentage of children who are orphans is found to be rising rapidly with age, from less than 1% among children under age 2 years to 9% among children age 15-17 year.
Families are at the hearts of our solution. A safe and caring family is what gives a child the most stable start and equips the child to live a fulfilling life. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015 and the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) promote family-based care services for children out of parental care. ICPS’s main thrust is to make institutionalization the last resort and widen the scope beyond institutionalization by including more family based care mechanisms. The guiding principles as mentioned in ICPS also emphasizes that child protection is a primary responsibility of family, supported by community, government and civil society.
We as an organization work to support families who are at risk of separation, as a preventive approach by strengthening the families and provide a family to children who are deprived of it. We explore various Alternative care options, which include Foster Care, Kinship care, Aftercare, etc. and work with the Government on child protection mechanism and strengthen community level service delivery structures.
Mechanisms to support Family based care
- The Constitution of India, Article 15(3), and State must make special provisions for children. Article 39 of Part IV of the Constitution asks the State to direct its policy towards this.
- The United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), 1989
- Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Child) Act 2015 and Integrated Child Protection Schemes (ICPS) emphasizes on family based alternative care, 2009
- The Guidelines on the Alternative Care of Children, endorsed by the UN General Assembly in 2009
YCDA’s journey from task Group to Resource Centre...
In 2009, Women and Child Development Department of Govt. of Odisha with the support from UNICEF, Odisha and Kinderpostzegels, The Netherlands, constituted a task group taking the Civil societies organizations (CSOs) in the state of Odisha and YCDA was the convener of the Taskforce. The Taskforce worked for accelerating the process of de-institutionalization and promoted alternative forms of child care through advocacy and micro demonstrations. Under this initiative many visible steps such as right to family campaign, De-institutionalization and reunion of children with their families and other forms of family based care arrangements were demonstrated successfully.
During this period of sharing knowledge and working with many NGOs/INGOs, various statutory bodies and State Government gave us a solid learning in understanding the ground realities and law of the land. Taking the experience on working with the concept and to reach out the larger stakeholders, YCDA has set up the Resource Centre and thus widening the scope in to create a different states momentum on the subject.
Establish a Knowledge hub for promoting family based Non-institutional child care practices in India for different stakeholders and practitioners.
- Act as a resource centre cum knowledge hub for the implementing partners, policy makers and other key stakeholders working on the field of Alternative care approach in the country
- Building capacity of the potential organizations/professionals and engaging with various stakeholders in the state/country through training and knowledge sharing to bring up their quality engagement
- Sharing knowledge and information on alternative child care with various stakeholders and facilitate for field level implementation as per the standards and law of the land
The Resource Centre is working in following four broad thematic areas, such as
- Capacity Development: By various knowledge and skills assessment it helps in providing need based training, exposures and follow up to various stakeholders and also takes initiatives in preparing various training manuals, modules and tools
- Action Research: Through situational analysis it assesses and develops baseline for various field research and thus generates evidence for lobby and advocacy.
- Knowledge Sharing: It works towards developing various guidelines and protocols for various stakeholders including the policy makers, organizes workshops for knowledge sharing on areas of alternative care.
- Information and Documentation: It plays a major role in analyzing the policy, provides support in developing guidelines, prepares various learning materials such as FAQs, books, newsletters, etc.
Resource Centre is managed by a group of professionals, practitioners and a panel of experts. The expert team consists of national and International on various themes/sub-themes to support as and when necessary. Apart from this we also work on need based interventions suitable to each organization’s own mandate.