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Survey of Child Care Institutions

  • 05 Jan 2019
  • 6 min read

Recently, Ministry of Women and Child Development released a report, Mapping of Child Care Institutions under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015.

  • The report consists of findings of the survey conducted by Childline India Foundation and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) of 9,589 shelters homes/child care institutions.
  • The study of the Mapping Exercise of the Child Care Institutions(CCIs)/Homes throws light on a critical component of the Juvenile Justice System i.e. functioning of CCIs/Homes across the country, in the context of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 (JJ Act).

Findings of the survey

  • Profile of CCIs/Homes
    • The nationwide figure reflects that among the total Homes surveyed (9589 Homes), there are mostly Children Homes and rest are Shelter Homes, Specialised Adoption Agency, Observation Homes, Special Homes, Swadhar Homes, Ujjawala, Place of Safety and Combination Homes nationwide.
    • Out of a total number of CCIs/Homes studied, 91% of the total CCIs/Homes, are run and managed by Non-Government Organisations, whereas, only 9% are Government supported Homes.
  • Profile of Children in CCIs/Homes
    • The different categories of children residing in the CCIs/Homes included Children who are Orphan, Abandoned, Surrendered, Sexually Abused, Victim of Child Pornography, Trafficked for domestic work, Trafficked for labour/Rescued from Labour, Trafficked for Commercial Sexual Exploitation, Victims of Child Marriage, Children affected and infected by HIV/AIDS, Children affected by natural disasters as well as manmade disasters and conflict, and Homeless, Runaway/ Missing, Mentally and Physically Challenged Children.
  • Standard of Child Care Facilities
    • An analysis was done regarding the facilities for children like individual bedding, proper nutrition and diet, toys, hygiene and maintenance of the CCI/Homes, sufficient water, health check-ups, educational facilities based on the age and special needs of the child.
    • It was found that these were not being adequately and satisfactorily addressed in many CCIs/Homes resulting in a failure to provide even the basic services to the children residing there.
  • Lack of Grievance Redressal Mechanism
    • The absence of various mechanisms for grievance redressal including management and children committees, thereby limiting and/or eliminating options available for children to express their views and concerns to the appropriate authorities.
  • Human Resource
    • With respect to the adequacy of staff, as per the norm, the highest percentage of CCIs/ Homes following the norms was found in Delhi and lowest in Sikkim.
    • There is also a shortage of adequate staff both as per the norm and as per sanction across all the CCIs/Homes in India.
  • Physical Infrastructure
    • There is lack of security measures, such as a boundary wall, fencing, and a strong structure to ensure the safety of children and staff within the premises of many CCIs/Homes, including privacy in toilets and bathing areas.
    • In some CCIs/Homes, bathrooms are not available for children exclusively.
  • Adherence to Juvenile Justice (Act and Rules) Procedure
    • CCIs/Homes of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh had the lowest performance with respect adherence to JJ Act.
  • Financial Transparency
    • Serious limitations were found with respect to financial transparency.
    • Many CCIs/Homes do not have the necessary system for maintaining documenting financial records in place.

Recommendations

  • Representation: There must be an adequate representation of the different categories of CCIs/ Homes under the ambit of the JJ Act.
  • Registration: Registration must be made compulsory for all CCIs/Homes to register under the JJ Act.
    • Record Keeping and Documentation must be carried out as a matter of practice in all Homes/CCIs/Agencies.
  • Child Protection Policy: This must be adopted in every CCI/Home, must be explained to and signed by each and every staff, management or adult dealing in any capacity with the CCI.
    • State Government can enlist the help of child rights organizations and activists/lawyers to frame such policies and hand them over to the concerned officials in the CCIs.
    • Thorough screening and background check of all persons concerned with the CCI/Homes must be carried out.
  • Human Resources: The staff in the CCIs/Homes need to be properly trained to sensitively and efficiently deal with children and their issues, needs, problems, concerns, and safety. ]
  • Regular Monitoring and Action Taken Reports: Regular inspections by the relevant authorities and appropriate action must be taken against CCIs/Homes not following norms.
    • Intervention by the respective governments with the help of external agencies must be carried out to regularize finances to bring about transparency in the system.
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