Kerala to implement deinstitutionalisation for better psychological development of children
According to Kerala State Child Rights Commission, of the total 737 children in government-run child care institutions in the state, 300 had returned to their homes as part of the summer vacation.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With institutional care hindering the normal growth and healthy psychological development of children, the state government is mulling deinstitutionalisation. It will be the District Child Welfare Committees which will spearhead the deinstitutionalising efforts.
The DCWC while giving priority for reuniting children with their families and looking for alternative care, including foster care and adoption, has also been directed to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of children in residential care. The decision was taken during the one-day workshop on ‘A Road Map for Child Protection in Kerala’ at the Government Guest House, Thycaud, on Tuesday.
“Across the world, efforts are on to reduce the number of children in institutional care. The prime reason for the same is the impact of institutionalisation on children. Also, the statistics available with us shows that a majority of the children in residential care could, in turn, be reunited with their families,” said C J Antony, member, Kerala State Child Rights Commission.
According to him, of the total 737 children in government-run child care institutions in the state, 300 had returned to their homes as part of the summer vacation.
At the same time, sources with the Women and Child Development Department said the decision has also come in the backdrop of findings that CCIs are largely congested and children are experiencing lack of a rights-based approach.
“The state had 817 CCIs of which 790 are run by NGOs and 27 by the government. The total number of children in such institutions is 24,230. Due to this, the caretakers are finding it difficult to provide attention to special children and those who need care and protection,” said the source.
The other major decisions that were taken during the workshop includes, preparing a framework for the implementation of the Shafeeq Committee Report and the practical issues in carrying out the mapping of vulnerable families and children, appointing mentors at one-stop-crisis-centres to deal with POCSO victims, extending Kaval project to children in need of care and protection, introducing the Kaval Plus project on a pilot basis at Thiruvananthapuram, Palakkad and Kozhikode and others.
The workshop that was inaugurated by Women and Child Development Minister K K Shailaja was attended by Special Secretary Biju Prabhakar, judicial first class magistrate of respective Juvenile Justice Committee, heads of District Child Welfare Committees and District Child Protection Unit, public prosecutors handling POCSO cases and others.