Open Hearts, Open Gates Handbook for Policy Makers and Practitioners Ensuring the Right to Education of Urban Deprived Children Under SSA
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Establishing and Managing Non Custodial, Comprehensive, Residential Care Homes and Hostels for Street Children or Sneh Ghars
Indradhanush Academy Centre for Equity Studies 105/6A, 1st Floor, Adhchini, Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi-110017 Ph.: 011-26514688, 41078058 Email: email@example.com Website: centreforequitystudies.com
Centre for Equity Studies
Indradhanush Academy Centre For Equity Studies
"We are guilty of many errors and faults, but our worst crime is abandoning the children, neglecting the foundation of life. Many of the
things we need can wait. The child cannot; right now is the time his bones are being formed, his blood is being made and his senses are being developed. To him, we cannot answer 'tomorrow', his name is today.
- Gabriel Mistral
Open Hearts, Open Gates…”
Handbook for Policy Makers and Practitioners Ensuring the Right to Education of Urban Deprived Children Under SSA Establishing and Managing Non Custodial, Comprehensive, Residential Care Homes and Hostels for Street Children or Sneh Ghars
Indradhanush Academy Centre for Equity Studies
Preface The Opposite of Love is not Hate. The Opposite of Love is Indifference. - Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel Children on the streets are brave but profoundly vulnerable survivors. They have often run away from drunken and intensely violent fathers, cruel step-parents, who cannot or fail to support them, some are lost or abandoned, or whose parents have died or are in jail, those facing incest, starvation and even horrendous massacres. They brave, usually with groups of other street children, the harsh adult twilight world of the streets. Like little adults, they negotiate with spirit and audacity the brutalised life of pavements, public parks, railway and bus stations, and waste dumps. They learn to live by their wits on the street, find food, work or beg to get money, fight for whatever they need, and fend off older bullies and the police. At an early age, they often learn to beg, at places of worship or traffic lights, or forage in rubbish heaps not only for food but also for various materials that can be sold for recycling. As they grow older, girls are often drawn into domestic or sometimes even casual street-based sex work, whereas boys may diversify from rag picking to working in garages and catering establishments. They are extremely resilient and some of them bounce back even after severe maltreatment. But all the time, they carry a well of emptiness in themselves because the significant adults in their lives have failed them. They seem to have created a space around themselves, which served the purpose of self-protection when they were living on the streets. They do not easily allow others to come into this shell. The children often carry scars of earlier negative experiences of which they do not speak until they trust people around them. They sometimes show a strange combination of the maturity of adults coupled with the joy, vulnerability and innocence of a child. Street children live in the present moment and get what joy they can, when they can. Their backgrounds and experiences are colorful and like a rainbow that can never be held in the palm, the name â€˜Rainbow Childrenâ€™ (given by Sister Cyril Mooney, a pioneer in work with street children) suits them well. Children from the street are free spirits. They rebel against being locked inside a gate, being supervised closely, and being corrected constantly. Therefore, they need intelligent and understanding guidance from adults that comes only with love. They prove to be able to learn and accept discipline when this is not accompanied by condemnation or rejection. In our work with these children, we have learnt that they have many strengths, which children in families often do not display, such as courage, spirit, initiative, self-reliance and also caring and sharing. We have seen that these children are also very wounded; battered physically, emotionally and sexually by the adult world. These include often those closest to them, such as abusive, violent, alcoholic or irresponsible parents. But we are convinced that many of these wounds can, with love, faith and persistence, heal and be overcome. We find that they need intelligent and understanding guidance from adults that comes only with love. We find in our care of our children who are formerly from the streets, that love truly healsâ€Ś 1
The Government of India, through SSA and other initiatives, has been able to work with state governments and citizen groups to expand significantly the availability of primary schooling at the doorstep of most children in the country. But there remains a stubborn core of children that an even more expanded network of schools would not be able to bring into school, even if the school is at the neighbourhood of where the children live. These are children who survive in the most difficult circumstances, and face formidable barriers to schooling. These include disabled children, children of migrant workers, children in conflict and disaster areas, children of stigmatised parentage (e.g. scavenger communities and sex-workers), rural working children and urban street children. This Handbook engages with one category of such excluded children â€“ street children. Every child growing up in India has today a fundamental right to good quality schooling. The street child should enjoy this right no less than any other child. But in reality, children of the street face extraordinary challenges to access their fundamental right. They are homeless, may have no family, or may have run away from abusive and violent homes. They work to survive in the most unsafe and unsanitary street based vocations, ranging from rag-picking, selling goods at traffic lights, begging, casual sex work and sometimes petty crime. Children who are forced to make the streets their only home are among the most vulnerable of all children, as they are deprived of the protection of homes and the nurturing of responsible adult protection. An unmet challenge of both governments and social organisations has been to reach food, protection, education and healthcare to these most disadvantaged children who share our cities, who we see every day, but who we mostly turn away from, without caring. Street children in these most difficult situations can access their right to education only when their other rights are also simultaneously ensured: their right to protection, food, health care and childhood. For a homeless child, this is usually possible only in residential schools. Every city needs hundreds of such residential schools for street and other urban deprived children, like migrant children. It is only recently, that the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, crafted a detailed scheme to reach these urban deprived children though residential schools and hostels. At last, state governments and social organisations have geared up to undertake; six decades late, massive efforts to ensure the fundamental rights of these children. In order to assist all state government, local bodies and social organisations to take up this massive challenge, we have prepared a series of detailed Handbooks dealing with various aspects of working with street children, from understanding their specific vulnerabilities and strengths, meeting them on the streets, managing Sneh Ghars, bridge education, mainstreaming, and life education, mental and physical health care, and legal issues.
Harsh Mander Director, Centre for Equity Studies, Delhi 1st Jan, 2012 2
We would like to thankâ€Ś In researching and writing these handbooks, we have drawn on best examples in the work by pioneers like Sister Cyril in Kolkata, MV Foundation led by Shantha Sinha and the BOSCO Brothers. We have added learning based on the efforts of Centre for Equity Studies and Aman Biradari, of work with state governments of Andhra Pradesh and Delhi; to establish and manage Sneh Ghars in Hyderabad and Delhi. Without the support of the senior officials in the Department of School Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) especially Secretary, Anshu Vaish, Additional Secretary Anita Kaul, Directors Neelam Rao and Maninder Kaur, and the state governments of Andhra Pradesh and Delhi, this effort would not have been possible. This first volume is a summary of all the detailed Handbooks, giving a brief overview of the steps required to reach street children, and ensure their access to rights to protection, food, education and health care. We hope it will be useful for both policy makers and practitioners. This effort was supported by grants from ICCO & Kerk in Actie; and Axis Bank for which we are very grateful, and look forward to further support for this work from diverse sources, including Save the Children, Partnership Foundation and Sir Dorabji Tata Trust. We are grateful to the following experts who authored various portions of the detailed manuals; for each, this was a labour of love. The writers are Ambika Kapoor, Anant Asthana, Deepika Nair, Dr. Madhurima Nundy, Dr. Vandana Prasad, Harsh Mander, Harshdeep Singh, Preeti Mathew, Rachel Firestone, Satya Pillai, Shaheen Adreshir, Sharmila Sinha, Shashi Mendiratta, Subroto Baul, Sunil Snehi and Sveta Dave Chakravarty. We thank Father Koshy of Navjeevana Bala Bhavan, Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh), Father George of Bangalore Oniyavara Seva Coota (BOSCO), Bangalore (Karnataka) for giving their valuable time and sharing their experiences. We thank Aisha Khan from Hamdard Girls Hostel, Dr. Sushma Goel, Lady Irwin College and Dr. Neerja Jaiswal, MS University, Baroda for giving us technical expertise on Home Management. Special thanks to Dimple Mander, who gave her valuable time and insights. We are grateful to Salaam Balak Trust and Karam Marg, for allowing us to visit their homes and understand different perspectives of care and documentation. We thank Dayaram, Annie Koshy, Anita Rampal, Dilip Ranjekar, for taking time to review and provide valuable feedback, suggestions and inputs for the education component. We are grateful to Dr. K.R. Antony, Pediatrician and President, Public Health Resource Society (PHRS); Prof. Rama V. Baru, Professor, Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health (CSMCH), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU); Mita Deshpande, Research Scholar, CSMCH, JNU; Arun Srivastava, Consultant, National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHSRC); Dr. Lipi Dhar, HOPE Project; and Ifat Hamid, ARK Foundation who reviewed the Health Manual and gave valuable inputs. We are grateful to Dr. Shanti Raman, Community Pediatrician, South West Sydney and Sydney Local Health Networks for providing background material 3
and reviewing the module; Dr. Ramani from Jan Swasthya Sahyog (JSS) for providing the JSS Drug formulary; Ms. Mridula Bajaj and Ms. Kamini Malhotra from Mobile CrĂ¨ches for accessing their health record formats; Ms. Mita Deshpande for First-Aid information and booklet developed under the School Health Project of University School Resource Network (USRN) and Dr. Ganpathy, PHRN. We learnt a great deal from the children themselves, as well as the team members or Sneh Sathis who undertook the pilot to establish Sneh Ghars, in Loreto Rainbow Home, Kolkata, the Dilse team, Delhi, and the Aman Vedika team, Hyderabad, for providing rich insights on residential care setups in functional schools. We acknowledge Satyaâ€™s stewardships and for holding the reins of all the teams to ensure timely completion of this complex task. She was ably advised by Sister Cyril, Sveta Dave, K Anuradha, Ferdinand Van Koolwijk, Fr George Kollashany, and Shashi Mendiratta; and assisted by her team members Preeti Mathew and Ambika Kapoor. Finally, sincere and heartfelt thanks to Harsh Mander, for his inspiring leadership of the entire process of putting our learnings together and ensuring that the child remained in focus at all times.
Childhood on the Streets It is a freezing winter night on the streets of Delhi. Through the swirling smog, on pavements, side streets, road dividers, under bridges, in subways, shop fronts and lofts of staircases, in railway platforms and bus stations, one can dimly make out the huddled forms of sleeping children. If one cares to count, the numbers on any night would cross fifty thousand, children who live, work, play, eat, fall sick, fight and love, despair and dream, all under the open sky. One of them is Raju Das, a boy of twelve, who sleeps with other homeless children around the water tank at the New Delhi station. For most of the five years since he left his home in Shantipur, a small town in Kamrup district of Assam, this has been his only home. Like many children who flee their families to escape intolerable abuse, Raju is unwilling to talk about precisely what drove him from his home. But one night at the age of seven, he walked away decisively from his truck driving father, mother and two younger brothers, never to return. It was an act of incredible courage for a child so young, echoed and repeated in the lives of tens of thousands of street children who decide at very young ages to bravely escape violence and abuse in their homes - alcoholic fathers, physical and sexual violence - by fending for themselves, whatever it costs. Raju walked along the railway track near his home, and mounted the first train that left the station. He alighted in Alipur in Cooch Behar. He had 200 rupees, which he had stolen when he ran away from home, and bought food from the stalls. He lingered at the platform, and watched children, some older, some younger than himself, earning money by selling water to passengers in plastic bottles which they filled at the public taps in the station. Their clothes were grimy, often oversized shorts or trousers held up by little more than a string tied around their thin waists. They seemed carefree, with ready laughter, they walked with a swagger, and sparkling eyes shone through their grubby faces. Rajuâ€™s money quickly ran out in a few days, so he decided to also to try his hand at selling water in bottles left behind in railway carriages. Some of the boys at the station beat him up, but an older boy, their leader, restrained them and said that he was like one of them. They welcomed him into the gang, and taught him their trade. The bottles sold at 5 rupees each, and he easily earned around fifty rupees a day. At night they slept on the platform, and three or four boys shared a sheet to cover themselves. They gave their savings to the stall owners for safekeeping. There was no place to store their clothes, so they would wear the same clothes until they were so dirty that they would throw them away and get a fresh set. A couple of months later, some of the boys in the gang decided to go to Delhi, for the adventure, and because the earnings were better. Raju decided on impulse to go with them. They took a train first to Howrah, and then to Delhi. Before long, Raju learnt to earn his living by rag-picking, starting out in the early hours of the morning, with a huge sack often bigger than his own small frame, with separate pockets for 5
bits of paper, cloth, plastic pieces, scraps of iron and other trash. At the end of the day, he sells his daily foraging to wholesale waste traders near the Shiela Cinema Bridge, who in turn sell to recycling units, which the materials on trucks that load through the night. Some of Rajuâ€™s friends also take up other seasonal occupations, like working with caterers in the wedding season, reserving places in trains during vacations, selling cinema tickets at higher rates, cleaning cars or taxis, buses or lorries, even trains, as vendors for tea and food stalls, apprentices in roadside automobile repair garages, carrying loads and shoe polishing. Contrary to common prejudice, only one in ten street children begs for a living, and most of these are very young. Even fewer beg as part of organized gangs. Most of the food Raju and his friends buy are at food stalls. On bad days, some eat at dargahs or temples, and even younger ones forage for food in rubbish heaps. Not surprisingly, they frequently fall sick. Illness is a time of trial, because no government hospital will admit these urchins in sullied clothes. But they do not go hungry in these times, because others in their gang invariably buy them food and take care of them. There is no place to play games like other children, but Raju and his friends always find ways of having fun. Street entrepreneurs have set up makeshift video parlours, especially on lanes where they sell their rags and waste. These are nothing more than a space marked off by faded curtains with a television set. For five rupees, you can watch as many films as you like. The parlours are packed with the rejects of the city, street boys and lonely migrant workers, rickshaw pullers, head loaders, construction workers, watching raptly Hindi cinema interspersed with pornographic films. Raju like most street children was introduced to the easy but deadly escape from pain and loneliness offered by soft drugs early in his days on the streets of Delhi. Thinners are readily available at any stationery shop for 25 rupees a bottle. Shopkeepers know that the children who buy these are not using them for painting, but they do not hesitate to sell to the street urchins who flock to their stores. Two bottles are enough for a day for one child. They soak a rag and inhale the fumes of solution, and it transports them to a world free from hurt and violence. But it also destroys their lungs, rendering them vulnerable to TB. Many children graduate to hard drugs like smack, but Raju has steered himself away. He knows that for those who succumb to smack, it is virtually the end of the roadâ€Ś.
Contents Section 1: Understanding the Comprehensive Care Programme..................................9 i. Characteristics...................................................................................................10 ii. Non-negotiable principles.................................................................................11 Section 2: The Programme and Process......................................................................14 i. Mobilization .....................................................................................................14 a) Mapping........................................................................................................................ 14 b) Setting up places of regular contact.......................................................................14 c) Building Trust................................................................................................................ 15 d) Locating the most needy child................................................................................... 15 ii. Entry into the Sneh Ghar...................................................................................16 a) Positive entry of the child into the home.................................................................16 iii. The Sneh Ghar...................................................................................................17 iv. Within the Sneh Ghar.........................................................................................18 a) Continuous presence of caring Sneh Sathis ...........................................................18 b) Healing, inclusive and empowering activities.........................................................20 • Balsabha: Fostering participation and ownership............................................22 v. Health Care........................................................................................................23 a) Principle processes of physical and mental Health care.....................................26 b) Nutrition......................................................................................................................... 28 vi. Education...........................................................................................................29 a) Baseline Assessment................................................................................................... 29 b) Bridging......................................................................................................................... 30 c) Mainstreaming............................................................................................................. 30 • Selection of Schools................................................................................................ 31 • Enabling the child to accept new adults in the world of ................................31 learning-Principal, teachers, School staff and volunteers d) The NIOS system.......................................................................................................... 32 e) Special Education........................................................................................................ 33 f) Vocational Training...................................................................................................... 33 g) Life skills training......................................................................................................... 34 h) Spoken English.............................................................................................................. 35 7
i) Computer Education.................................................................................................... 36 j) Enriching activity programme.................................................................................... 36 • Planning for Activities............................................................................................. 36 • Providing facilities and equipment......................................................................37 vii. Working with Families.......................................................................................37 viii. Legal implications of working with Street Children..........................................39 a) Registration of Children’s Homes under the Juvenile Justice Act........................39 b) Legal Protocol for Admission..................................................................................... 40 c) Follow up with CWC................................................................................................... 41 d) Restoration.................................................................................................................... 42 e) Procedure for escape/runaway child.....................................................................42 f) Procedure of Transfer between child care institutions..........................................43 ix. Monitoring and Evaluation................................................................................43 a) Documentation.............................................................................................................. 44 b) Inspection....................................................................................................................... 46 c) Vulnerability Audit...................................................................................................... 47 d) Appraisal...................................................................................................................... 47 x. Training.............................................................................................................47 xi. Community involvement and services..............................................................48 xii. Budget for the Sneh Ghars.................................................................................48 a) Renovation cost............................................................................................................ 48 b) Initial set up cost.......................................................................................................... 51 c) Recurring cost............................................................................................................... 51 Section 3: Life beyond the Home................................................................................60 Conclusion ...............................................................................................................62
The protocols corresponding to the various aspects of work have been detailed in separate manuals that have been developed by the Indradhanush Academy, Centre for Equity Studies.
From the Streets to Comprehensive Care in Sneh Ghars: Essential Features
The major official response to street children has either been neglect and indifference, or locking them up in loveless custodial homes. The limiting and predominantly negative nature of traditional residential care options for street children - locked up in violent, orthodox, dull, unimaginative, dreary, rigid, controlling, exploitative, isolating, apathetic, bureaucratic environment is what this handbook most wants to break, along with indifference towards street children. We are convinced that the best, indeed the only way that a street child can enjoy his or her fundamental rights is in voluntary, open homes that are exciting, loving, accepting, absorbing, stimulating places, offering freedom, dignity, respect, and space for physical, emotional and cognitive growth and development. We call these non-custodial homes and hostels offering comprehensive care Sneh Ghars, or homes of love. We believe that it is possible to undertake the massive challenge to ensure the fundamental rights of every street child only by establishing hundreds of non-custodial residential homes and hostels: the Sneh Ghars. With the notification of the rights-based framework of RTE, education of children in custodial situations is no longer permitted by the law. This has finally been recognised, and in acknowledgement, the SSA-RTE 2011 framework now includes a programme for the rightsbased, non-custodial residential care and education of street and homeless children within the category of “Urban Deprived Children”, to be implemented by state governments across the country. This Handbook attempts to describe how state and urban local governments and implementing agencies can undertake this on a large scale. Recognising that ensuring education to street-children entails providing shelter, food and health care, the new policy calls for first setting up residential facilities for street children in urban centers (Residential Bridge Courses – RBCs, Residential Special Training Centres – RSTCs) and provides three options: a)
Residential facilities to be created in existing schools (the most viable option, given the paucity of land and unused buildings in urban centers on the one hand, and the fact that school space is only used for a fraction of the day on the other),
Residential facilities to be created in un- or under-utilized public buildings that are not schools, and
Construction of new buildings if land is available and the above options are not applicable. 9
The characteristic features of the homes, known as â€˜Sneh Gharsâ€™ are:
1. Residential care: Children can never pursue education without the assurance of safety and protection. This is most applicable for children on the streets for whom it is unrealistic to ever expect to be able to pursue mainstream education except in a residential setting. Street children are homeless and often without adult carers; in these difficult situations, they can access their right to education only when their other rights are also simultaneously ensured: their right to protection, food, health care and childhood. For a homeless child, this is usually possible only in residential schools. 2. Open and Voluntary: The idea of open Sneh Ghars is based on the learning that street children are essentially free spirits who cannot and need not be locked up or supervised too closely and corrected constantly. In fact, even after coming off the free life of the street, most children coming into the homes remain in an unsettled, ambivalent state long after entry into the Sneh Ghar and invariably go through multiple exits and reentries. During this initial stage of indecisiveness and perplexity and later throughout the stay in it, the child continuously receives the caring unconditional acceptance in the safe and welcoming environment of the Sneh Ghar. Since the home provides protection, especially to girls, from abduction, trafficking, sale and all other forms of exploitation, any consequent security steps and resulting constraints on their liberty are no more than are necessary to ensure their effective protection. 3. Comprehensive and Unconditional Care: The Sneh Ghars function on the principles of mutual trust, comprehensive care, unconditional acceptance and freedom of choice, all this while never compromising the dignity of the children. Beyond mere shelter, the Sneh Ghar offers, genuine love, care, safe, supportive and nonthreatening environment, and a stimulating secular space where children can heal their traumas, attain stability and rediscover themselves, evolve and flourish. 4. Rights based: In keeping with a human rights approach, care and protection in the Sneh Ghar is not provided to the children as an act of adult benevolence or charity, but is conceptualised and practiced as an entitlement of all children, without discrimination and on conditions that are beneficial to each childâ€™s well-being. 5. Participatory: For a street child to accept a Sneh Ghar as a home, s/he needs to identify with it and develop a sense of ownership towards it. For it to be effective and successful, schedules and solutions cannot be imposed but should be arrived at in consultation with the children. This is based on the understanding that children, irrespective of their, gender, caste, religion and physical and mental abilities, do form views from a very early age and continue to develop their expression and capacity for decision making, which should be allowed to be expressed and be heard with respect. The children in the Sneh Ghar have the freedom to express their opinions fearlessly and have a voice in all aspects of the home functioning. A violence free environment is established, wherein corporal punishment is prohibited, the dignity of the child is respected in all regards, and all negotiations and
conflict resolutions are made through a process of mutual dialogue and other non-violent methods. 6. Family oriented: When a child is placed in the care of a Sneh Ghar, contact with his/her family, as well as with other significant persons, such as friends, neighbours and previous carers are encouraged and facilitated, in keeping with the child’s protection and best interests. The child has information on the situation of his/her family members at all times. No attempt is made to replace the biological family. While acknowledging that even the best Sneh Ghar cannot substitute the care that can be available in a family, it has been seen that few children leave their homes lightly or on a whim, and almost always, the child has good reason for choosing to not return to their biological homes. In such cases, one should be careful not to give greater moral weight, even by implication or nuance, to a child’s biological family. For the few who do, repatriation to their biological homes should be offered as an option, but as only one option among others. 7. Long term: No child is a project, tied to funds or project cycles. Therefore, there should be no question of involuntarily ‘letting a child go’ when she or he reaches a certain age, if the child does not feel ready to move, and Sneh Sathis are not fully assured that the child is ready. There should willingness on the Sneh Sathis’ part to let go if the grown child wants to fly, but an equal readiness to give the child a home for longer if the wings are still tender or the child is still frightened to fly alone.
Sneh Ghars: Guaranteeing comprehensive, long term care to the children in voluntary, open non-custodial homes and hostels, securing their rights to protection, love, food, health care, recreation and education. These are guaranteed with no conditionality, with love but no sense of charity, and for as long as the child needs these, as one would ensure for one’s own child.
Minimum standards for care (bases on CRC guidelines) to be maintained in the Sneh Ghars:
T he reach out and transfer of a child into the Sneh Ghar is to be carried out with the utmost sensitivity and in a child-friendly manner, at the pace of the child, involving specially trained and caring Sneh Sathis or Direct Carers of the Children, who combine the roles of House Mothers/Fathers with Teachers and Home Managers. During the stay in the Sneh Ghar, a child is never denied scheduled visits, telephone calls, correspondence or visits to family and/or significant adults; unless it can be proven that is unsafe for the child or that a court order prohibits this activity. Sneh Sathis should ensure that children receive timely and adequate amounts of
•• •• ••
wholesome and nutritious food in accordance with local dietary habits and relevant dietary standards, as well as with their religious beliefs. Appropriate nutritional supplementation should also be provided when necessary. Sneh Sathis should promote the health of the children and make arrangements to ensure that curative, preventive and promotional medical care, and counselling are made available as required. Children should have access to formal, non-formal and vocational education in accordance with their age and scholastic levels, to the maximum extent possible, in educational facilities in the local community. Sneh Sathis should ensure that the right of every child, including those with disabilities, living with or affected by HIV/AIDS or having any other special needs, to develop through specialised activities is respected and that opportunities for such activities are created within and outside the Sneh Ghar. Children are allowed to satisfy the needs of their religious and spiritual life by being able to decide freely whether or not to participate in religious services, religious education etc. The child’s own religious background should be respected, and no child should be encouraged or persuaded to change his/her religion or belief during the stay in the Sneh Ghar. Any form of discrimination on the basis of culture, language, gender, race, or sexual orientation of the child should be avoided. Sneh Sathis understand the importance of their role in developing positive, safe and nurturing relationships with children, and should be enabled to do so. Sneh Sathis should promote and encourage children to develop and exercise informed choices, taking account of acceptable risks and the child’s age, and according to his/ her evolving capacities. Sneh Sathis should ensure that network/partner agencies and facilities, schools and other community services take appropriate measures to ensure confidentially in all matters relating to the children and they are not stigmatised during or after their stay. This includes efforts to minimise the identification of children as being looked after in a Sneh Ghar. All disciplinary measures and behaviour management constituting torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, including closed or solitary confinement or any other forms of physical or psychological violence that are likely to compromise the physical or mental health of the child should be strictly prohibited. Use of force and restraints of whatever nature are not authorised unless strictly necessary for safeguarding the child’s or others’ physical or psychological integrity, in conformity with the law and in a reasonable and proportionate manner and with respect for the fundamental rights of the child. Restraint by means of drugs and medication are to be based on therapeutic needs and never be employed without evaluation and prescription by a specialist. Children in the Sneh Ghar are offered
access to a person of trust in whom they may confide in total confidentiality. The child is informed that legal or ethical standards may require breaching confidentiality under certain circumstances. Children in the home should have access to a known, effective and impartial mechanism whereby they can notify complaints or concerns regarding their treatment or conditions of placement. Such mechanisms include initial consultation, feedback, implementation and further consultation. To promote the child’s sense of self-identity, documentation, comprising appropriate information, pictures, personal objects and mementoes regarding each step of the child’s life should be maintained with the child’s participation and made available to the child throughout his/her life.
In the Sneh Ghar, every child should grow up to be happy, healthy and well adjusted; move beyond his/her survival, physical safety and basic needs; be free of drugs; not carry the trauma of life on the streets; feel good about him/herself; be hopeful of a good future; be able to trust, be loving and respectful of others; be responsible, take pride in accomplishments and attempt new challenges; handle emotions in a stable and mature manner; strengthen his/her links with the community by offering assistance and be able to seek his/her rights with confidence.
The Programme and Process
Mobilisation of Children
Repeatedly living the cycle of playing hide and seek with protection agencies, being caught, or rescued, tried, escaping often from the joyless, harsh and stifling atmosphere of reform institutions only to return into the hostility, drudgery and dangerousness of street life,street children are often contemptuous, wary, suspicious, and skeptical of the purpose of people who try to befriend them. It is only an intensive, unconditional engagement propelled by genuine concern over a sustained period of time that helps to bridge the huge gap. From a benign presence for several hours of the day, offering help of engaging, in activities, the Sneh Sathi on the field has to become a part of their life spaces and instill hope to motivate the children to come into the care of a Sneh Ghar. The mobilisation process, of getting to know each other and build mutual relations of trust and solidarity can take anywhere between 3 to 6 months. a)
The first step towards starting is to get a realistic picture of the prevalence and magnitude of the urban homelessness and specifically, homeless children in the selected city. Sneh Sathis and volunteers could map the city, and prepare a profile of the population, communities, occupations and problems in those locations. •• Divide the city into clusters, and organise evening or night walks to see specifically the places where they work and sleep. •• Identify locations where children congregate - such as places of worship, railway stations, bus stands, cinema halls, waste/rag purchasing areas, eating places etc. •• Identify the natural group leaders and influential people in these places who play a major role in the lives of these children. This mapping would be useful to gain an insight and establish channels of communications with the homeless adult, children and their peer groups. It would open up the opportunity to educate and sensitise, in the long run, the larger community - schools, colleges, media, government officials, municipal officials, police etc., about the problems of these children. b)
Setting up places of regular contact
After mapping, choose the pockets where there is a need to do intensive work based on the capacity and resources available. Once the pockets are identified for regular contact, one or two Sneh Sathis supported by other Sneh Sathis specialising in health, law etc., should be posted in each of these locations. Coordinating with other organisations working on different issues in the same area will help in building networks. 14
After familiarising themselves with the general routine and availability of the children in a specific spot, the Sneh Sathis should frequently meet them at appropriate points, which could be a park or some open place, a railway platform or the street side. Initially some children may not come, but with regular presence, children will recognise and begin to bond, and gradually start to engage. Through a combination of one-on-one and group meetings, get a broad understanding of the age, gender, source of income, family status and contact, reasons for being on the streets, how do they survive, understanding who are the significant ‘others’ in the life of the child are, what are the problems they face etc. Street children have no reason to trust adults so initially they can be contemptuous, mistrusting, and even aggressive to outsiders. In order to build a relationship of trust and faith, Sneh Sathis should approach the children with genuine respect, patience and in a nonjudgmental way. c)
The focus of the Sneh Sathis at the next stage should be to establish a strong rapport and convert it into a relationship of trust. This could be done in the following ways: •• Talk to the children and begin some kind of fun play, activity e.g., sharing stories that develops into some kind of informal education, organise outings to nearby places. If the children have families, it would be important to maintain regular contact with those families as well and respond to their problems and need. •• Respond and deal with the crisis the child finds him/herself in - such as a health emergency, being beaten by the police, if the weather is extremely cold or raining and the child has nowhere to go etc.; in such times, being available to him/her will deepen the trust. Gradually, start services helpful to children to the extent feasible, including general health, education, legal support etc., simultaneously; identify the local, natural leaders and guardians who have the best interest of street children in those locations. Speak to them and build a relationship with them. Following this, work more intensively with children who are most needy and vulnerable, and prepare them and their families for the child to be brought into the Sneh Ghar, continue the contact with their families even after child is moved into the Sneh Ghar. d)
Locating the most needy child
During the course of meeting the children, the vulnerable ones can easily be identified. However, if the number of children is more than the capacity of the Sneh Ghars, the vulnerability checklist can be used to select those who are at risk and most urgently in need of care and protection. The selectivity index of those in dire need amongst children on the street is articulated in the Vulnerability Scale: 15
Entry into the Sneh Ghar
Positive entry of the child into the Sneh Ghar
Vulnerability Scale: In descending sequence of vulnerability 1.
Girl in the Detention Centre
Boy in the Detention Centre
Girl living alone on the streets
Boy living alone on the streets
Girl living in an abusive and /or uncaring home environment
Boy living in an abusive and/or uncaring home environment
Girl living with single mother on the streets and (Facing abuse and/or, drug addict parent and/or, alcoholic parent and/or, doing Street work )
Boy living with single mother on the streets and (Facing abuse and/or, drug addict parent and/or, alcoholic parent and/or, doing Street work )
Girl living with single father on the streets and (Facing abuse and/or, drug addict parent and/or, alcoholic parent and/or, doing Street work )
Boy living with single father on the streets and (Facing abuse and/or , drug addict parent and/or, alcoholic parent and/or, doing Street work )
Girl living with both parents on the streets and (Facing abuse and/or, drug addict parent and/or, alcoholic parent and/or, doing Street work )
Boy living with both parents on the streets and (Facing abuse and/or, drug addict parent and/or, alcoholic parent and/or, doing Street work )
Girl living with single mother in slums and (Facing abuse and/or, drug addict parent and/or, alcoholic parent and /or, doing Street work )
Boy living with single mother in slums and(Facing abuse and/or, drug addict parent and / or, alcoholic parent and /or, doing Street work )
Girl living with single father in slums and (Facing abuse and/or, drug addict parent and/or, alcoholic parent and/ or, doing Street work )
Boy living with single father in slums and (Facing abuse and/or, drug addict parent and/or, alcoholic parent and or doing Street work )
Girl living with both parents in slums and (Facing abuse and/or, drug addict parent and/or, alcoholic parent and /or, doing Street work )
Boy living with both parents in slums and (Facing abuse and/or, drug addict parent and/or alcoholic parent and/or doing Street work )
* Children who newly arrive in the city should be immediately moved into the Sneh Ghar
Although children are brought into a residential care out of choice, it is only natural that at the point of first entry into the Sneh Ghar, the child is plagued with several doubts and apprehensions, whether they made the right decision or not, if s/he was actually better off on the streets, will s/he be subjected to uncomfortable demands, etc. It is an especially difficult situation in the case of young children and those with caring families, who will be frightened and confused, they may begin to wail and cry, in a scene that may seem like a forced separation. At this stage, it is up to the Sneh Sathis to make the family feel reassured and the child welcomed. The first hours after the child enters the Sneh Ghar hugely contribute to how well the child feels accepted and settles down and progresses. The excitement, apprehension or distress can be addressed by a sensitive and planned welcome process. A plan full entry process should include the following: •• •• •• •• •• •• •• ••
eet the child in a welcoming manner without making judgments about where s/he M comes from, who their family is, what s/he did for a living. Interact with the family with respect & dignity. Avoid sending the child for an immediate clean up (bath, haircut etc.) Introduce the child to all members of the Sneh Ghar. Take the child for a guided tour of the Sneh Ghar. Offer a ‘welcome kit’ to the child, which should consist of age appropriate personal utility items like a pair of clothes, brush, towel, undergarments, footwear etc. Allocate a specific spot (bed, locker etc.) to the child. Inform the child of options to keep possessions safe and secure. Introduce the child to the structure, routine, procedures, any rules and any other information, which will make him/her feel welcome and comfortable.
All introductory activities should be undertaken with the child’s consent and at his/her pace. Within a month of child’s entry, an in depth understanding of the child can be developed using a questionnaire designed for this purpose. iii)
The Sneh Ghar
For the child who was hitherto largely mobile, with no one spot to identify as a permanent residence, a Sneh Ghar must, at the most fundamental level, provide a sense of safety, space, freedom and belongingness. The infrastructure and the layout of the Sneh Ghar is a critical consideration for this. Since more often than not the building would not have been originally designed for residential use, the area division and utilisation will have to be done in ways that are creative and optimise the use of every bit of space available. A clean, safe physical space with good lighting, clean drinking water, uninterrupted supply of elec17
tricity, clean toilet facilities, opportunities for eating, sleeping, studying, recreation and play will help to remove a sense of deprivation and scarcity. The building should preferably be located in a part of the city that is well-connected to the main city and should have schools, hospitals etc., in its vicinity. Separate Sneh Ghar should be established for girls and boys (except in cases of siblings below 4 years of age). The following basics should be ensured: •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• ••
I nteriors and grounds kept clean and hygienic. Children are physically safe at all times. Children have access to clean water and toilet facilities and toiletries appropriate to their age, and babies and young children are given all necessary assistance. Sleeping arrangements are appropriate to the age and gender of the children. The Sneh Ghar has sufficient accessible amenities, which are appropriate for the age group of the children in residence. Space is provided for study, exercise and other fun physical activities appropriate to their age, interests and capacity. Children are encouraged to decorate their own space with items and pictures which have meaning to them. The building is in good state of repair and safe for children at all times. There is adequate protection against the hazard of fire etc. Adequate living arrangements are available for its residential Sneh Sathis. A separate unit in the Sneh Ghar is marked as the office for administrative purposes. The Sneh Sathis are prepared for any disaster that can occur due to fire, earthquake, flood etc. The layout is as accessible and disabled friendly as possible. It is registered with the Child Welfare Committees CWC (and is licensed by the Ministry of WCD).
Within the Sneh Ghar
Continuous presence of caring Sneh Sathis:
Sneh Sathis are the backbone of the Sneh Ghar, as they are the adults surrounding the children most often, and have the most impact on a child’s behaviour and development. Firstly, it is imperative that the Sneh Ghar is sufficiently staffed. Sneh Sathis should be available in the day as well as at night, be of the same gender and should be alert, positive, consistent, reliable and sensitive persons and they must be able to provide for the child. For running a Sneh Ghar with an ideal capacity of 80-100 children, it is important that the Sneh Sathis possess an unlimited resource of passion and energy to keep up with the children in their daily activities. The Sneh Sathis, be it the field workers, mothers, teachers, 18
health worker, counselor, like a synchronised orchestra have to work in perfect tandem to ensure the smooth routine of feeding, rest, education, health, recreation etc. Based on the various requirements of the Sneh Ghar, each Sathi may have different duties, but all, in varied capacities, through the day-to- day situations, are required to provide basic care and guide children as they learn, explore their interests, build self-esteem, develop talents, learn independence and prepare to socialise and integrate into mainstream society. Sneh Sathis required in a Sneh Ghar The Sneh Ghar Structure 1 Home Coordinator
1 Health Worker (Part Time)
1 Field Workers (Part Time)
1 Counselor (Part Time)
4 House Mothers 2 Security Guards (day/night)
1 Legal Welfare Officer (Part Time)
Sneh Sathis are the single most pivotal contributors in the success of work with the child. It should be realized that nothing can replace and no one can teach the joy that is derived from being with children. The Sneh Sathis should be selected carefully, not based on their academic training, but willingness and passion to help stimulate all round growth in children. Their enthusiasm, commitment and skills are enough to make even a poorly resourced place feel like a Sneh Ghar. The following criteria lay out general traits of people who are likely to fit into the role of a Sneh Sathi: Able to establish a relationship of mutual respect and puts in relentless effort to ensure the child’s overall development. •• •• ••
E njoys being with children. Is empathetic to what children have suffered and realises/acknowledges the damage from abuse and neglect and manages it sensitively. Is emotionally healthy and has the capacity to make strong and loving attachments with children who are biologically not theirs.
•• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• b)
as a realistic expectation about how the child will behave and respond to care H in the Sneh Ghar. Has skills to manage a large number of children of different age groups, and can work with children with special needs. Has a problem-solving attitude and is able to think out of the box. Has the physical energy and willingness to attend to a crisis/work beyond the scheduled work hours. Has the ability to multitask. Is able to work in a team of diverse people. Has a secular outlook. Does not have serious mental health or substance abuse or anger management problems. Has a tolerant, patient disposition. Healing, inclusive & empowering activities
A robust activity plan with all dimensions of children’s growth - physical, spiritual, mental, emotional and social should be planned. Developmentally appropriate play and education and other forms of stimulation, opportunities of being heard, showing her talents, being exposed to newer experiences, relating differently with adults, establishing relationships in the community as a participant (and not as victims), good diet, health, rest and spiritual care allows the children to feel worthwhile, instilling confidence, helping them to heal, learn about themselves and the world around and regain hope. The regular routine of activities needs to be planned in such a way that children have equal time between work, rest and leisure. In a 24 hour schedule, eight hours for each would help to balance the routine.
Timings/ duration (approx)
Freshening up and grooming
bridge education Self Study
Personal time 1 hr
Non academic /Leisure activities Sleep
Details The younger children should be woken up by the house mothers .The timings could be adjusted by 45mins to an hour depending on the weather .The daily routine for grooming needs to be carefully planned so that each child get enough time to use bathrooms and toilets. The day should begin with the children brushing, bathing and getting ready for school, and other activities for the day. While children above 7years can manage independently, younger ones should be taken care of by the mothers or older children. A participative morning assembly should be held during which the plan for the day should be shared with the children. Some physical exercises could help stimulate the children to take on the day. Breakfast, midday fruit, lunch, evening tea, snacks and dinner should be served according to a pre decided time and menu. Children attend school or bridge study classes based on the level and individual plan.
Time and space for children to understand/practice concepts at their own pace. Time made for the critical activity of a) personal reflection, b) collective discussion and to plan various aspects of running a Sneh Ghar. Structured and unstructured games played indoors or outdoors. The routine should provide for unstructured, personal time to the children during which they can wash, groom and simply be. Planned based on the time available, resources and interests of the children. Activities can be scheduled in such way some of them are taken up daily, some weekly and some for few days in the month, i.e., learning dance, music, arts, crafts, Growing children need adequate rest and relaxation. While the younger children need rest in between the day, the older children should be encouraged to go to bed latest by 10.30pm
Fostering participation and ownership
Ownership to the Sneh Ghar and the programme cannot be forced. One of the best ways to ensure that children take charge of themselves and their new home is to let them assume this role themselves. A forum for democratic participation, Balsabha, or children’s counsel, enables the children to cultivate allegiance through dialogue and participation. Children are encouraged to articulate their thoughts and feelings freely, and to respect differing points of view on all issues impacting them. It is a powerful and effective way to deal with day to day issues in the Sneh Ghar and promote insight, growth and change. Ensuring involvement of all the children, Balsabha helps children to become aware of their rights, teaches them to access them without fear and with dignity, and also provides them opportunities for practicing their duties. The fact that their actions can influence other people’s lives positively eventually empowers them. Balsabha helps in the following way: •• •• •• •• ••
Encourage the children to recognise their potential and talents and express them. Develop communication skills. Develop self-confidence, and build self-esteem. Encourages the children to bond with each other. Creates awareness on a range of issues related to their lives.
Two kinds of Balsabhas Review and planning session: All aspects of the Sneh Ghar planning should be open to children. Under the unobtrusive supervision of the Sneh Sathis, the children should be invited to discuss and plan the functioning of the Sneh Ghar. Some examples of the things they can plan are a.
Develop their time table/daily routine including studies, recreation, sports and outings;
Choose and plan their meals with the help of a nutritional chart (mess committees);
Maintain the Sneh Ghar (keeping the rooms clean and tidy, display and decorations);
Participate in planning, budgeting and purchase;
Run a grievance redressal mechanism.
Children should also be encouraged to form working groups, each of whom can take on the various responsibilities related to ensure the Sneh Ghar’s functioning. Following this, review the consequences and learning’s of their plans and actions by assessing the positive impact and also what and how to further improve the functioning of the Sneh Ghar. Documentation of the review and action points is imperative and should be the reference spot for the following meetings.
Sharing and reflection session: Conducted with children of 10 years and above, intensive in nature and content of discussion, these meetings could be scheduled every alternate day. It should preferably have a smaller (10-15 is ideal) number of children coming together under the guidance of Sneh Sathis to: a.
Share and resolve interpersonal issues;
Share and resolve personal issues (behaviour, future etc.);
Improve understanding of the world around concept(s).
The issues discussed each week arise from the members of the group rather than being initiated by the Sneh Sathis. Children should be encouraged to share personal situations with one another in a spontaneous and honest fashion, as well as to provide feedback to each otherâ€™s sharing. Children come into a group and talk about the challenges and difficulties they have or are facing, and the peers are called upon to give support, offer alternatives, or even confront the child. In this way, interpersonal issues are discussed and resolved, alternative behaviours learned, and children develop new social skills or ways of relating to people. Many behavioural issues can be addressed through this method. The Sneh Sathis should help structure the meeting and set rules for group discussion, how to use the group time, who will chair the meeting, how conflicts will be resolved, etc. When no interpersonal issues are being raised, the facilitator introduces questions for children to think about and discuss. They should not give the answers, but give cues to help children think. They should be careful not to leave the discussions open, but summarise with conclusions and agreements. If something is unclear and needs further discussion, they should agree to carry the discussion forward to the next meeting. Based on the schedule of the Sneh Ghar and the time availability of the children, these meetings should be scheduled on a regular basis. A review and planning meeting could be held on a weekly or fortnightly basis and the sharing and reflection meeting daily or on alternate days. All the discussions in the Balsabhas should be recorded and discussed in the next meeting to see if issues have been resolved. Sneh Sathis should take particular care that every child understands the purpose and real spirit of these deliberations. v. Health Care Consumption of polluted water, unclean and inadequate food, hygiene and sanitation facilities, lack of sleep , violence, alcohol and drugs etc. that children are subjected to while on the street have disastrous consequences and result in various and frequent health problems. These range from trauma-related injuries, developmental delays, sinusitis, anaemia, asthma, bowel dysfunction, respiratory and digestive dysfunctions eczema, communicable, chronic illnesses of respiratory and sexually transmitted illnesses, digestive system problem visual, neurological deficits and other disabilities. Most of the children coming into the Sneh Ghar will be undernourished and will have poor immunity. Add to this the adverse psychological 23
effects of neglect and abuse. Therefore, a strong curative, preventive and promotional mechanism for long term health care is a critical part of the services offered to the children at the Sneh Ghar. Specifically with regard to mental health, it is believed that negative early experiences impair childrenâ€™s mental health and affect their cognitive, behavioural, and social-emotional development. However, it should be understood that child development is dynamic and purposeful. Children have a natural curiosity and an even wider capacity for growth and change. This capacity allows children to regenerate and heal from childhood traumas that lead to disorders. In fact, they are developmentally driven to change. It is this ally that should be counted on to make effective interventions and allows the former street child to have a normal, healthy life. This has special relevance in this context of children from vulnerable backgrounds because it means that they can change over time. Not all children, however, are resilient enough to cope with the damaging effects of street life. Some can become psychologically and even physically traumatized as a result. Our experience is that while 5% of the children coming into a Sneh Ghar would have had a serious impact on their behavioural or cognitive development, which will need clinical intervention, for 95% of the children, a consistent, responsive, and nurturing environment and strong, positive relationships can foster emotional healing, growth and overall wellbeing. Experience shows that a combination of a three level care mechanism can cover all kinds of health care needs of the children in a Sneh Ghar. First and most critical is the personal care provided by Sneh Sathis who have been sensitised to the needs of children from the streets. The next level is the trained and experienced health worker, with skills to address the day to day health issues, which forms the fulcrum of the health service delivery. A majority of the
Figure: Framework for health care delivery in a Sneh Ghar 24
children’s medical needs can mainly be addressed at the primary level of the Sneh Sathis and health worker. At the third level, to handle more complex problems, a formal network consisting of qualified medical practitioners that include physicians and specialists should be empanelled. While the specialists focus on the curative services, the health workers assisted by the Sneh Sathis should take a comprehensive view and focus more on the preventive and promotional aspects of health. Thus, the programme should work through a team of thoroughly trained, part time but well supervised and supported health workers and counsellors and a panel of doctors who attend periodically for well-defined services. For mental health purposes, the referral team will include child psychiatrists, psychologists, de-addiction specialists, social workers, psychotherapists and specialist nurses. This should be further supported and advised by a health management advisory team that includes a doctor from the panel that service the Sneh Ghars, a public health specialist and some other specialists (mental health and gynaecology in particular) on a voluntary basis. Other key resources that can be added to the health team is an AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) specialist who can provide valuable training to the Sneh Sathi on the use of simple home remedies and an AYUSH formulary for health workers to use themselves, as well as provide on-site AYUSH services. One of the preliminary tasks while setting up a health programme is to map existing resources in the area, which may comprise of friendly doctors who are willing to help, government dispensaries, health centres, hospitals, social organisations and others. It will be important to gather information on the processes and the people through whom the existing health schemes by the government can be accessed. These would vary from state to state. It is also important to gather information on the process of government supported ‘free beds’ in large corporate hospitals in the neighbourhood, and be aware of the procedures Health interventions required in a Sneh Ghar Curative
Preliminary overall health checkup at entry into the Sneh Ghar
Appropriate medical interventions through first aid, OPD treatment or hospital admission.
Iron and vitamin supplement
Diagnosing the children with special needs and organizing the required aids - wheelchairs, hearing aids, crutches, reading glasses, physiotherapy, special schools etc.
Providing de addiction services
•• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• ••
Regular health checkups - eye, dental, gynecological etc Balanced diet Immunisation Regular de worming Track Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) regularly Following regular fumigation and pest control regimen Life skills training Providing sex education
Maintaining high levels of hygiene and sanitation in the Sneh Ghar Organising periodic trainings to sensitise carers to the various aspects of health.
required to utilise these. Some children with disability, chronic illness or severe disorders may require intense financial investments. Maintaining a supportive network for referrals, financial aid and volunteer action is critical for this. a)
Principle processes of physical and mental health care
While some interventions would be generic and all encompassing, there needs to be individual focus on health needs of every child in the Sneh Ghar. Health assessment of the child on entering the Sneh Ghar Every child upon entering the Sneh Ghar needs to go through a health assessment, including a psycho-social assessment. This should be conducted within a standardised and systematic framework that includes a well taken history of the child’s socio-economic context, history of abuse of any kind and experiences of living in the streets. This should to be done by the health worker and the counsellor. Following this, a detailed health assessment must be done by a doctor. The assessment should be done sensitively, respectfully and age appropriately. Issues of gender, class, marginalisation and power need to be kept in mind, especially since this would be a detailed interaction involving many personal issues which may be painful. It should not be an impersonal and mechanical process. Care must be taken not to, at any time, push the child beyond his/her comfort levels or traumatise him/her in any way. Conducting the health assessment is a highly skilled task for which the Sneh Sathis should be provided with special training. The child should also be allowed and encouraged to make a self-assessment and express it in their own way. Planning for the child A detailed report should be brought out for every child after the assessment to draw out a health plan. If there is history of abuse, if the child is malnourished, is addicted, disabled 26
or if there is concern related to the growth of the child, then it calls for immediate planned interventions and action. Implementing Sneh Sathis should be aware of the health plan drawn out for every child and to have a checklist of interventions and actions that need to be taken. The interventions need to be prioritised and ensured that they happen on time. Review A review of the child (including self-review) should be mandatory every 6 months. This helps in following up whether action has been taken according to the health plan.
Mental health interventions processes: Interventions De-addiction Trauma healing (physical and sexual abuse) Physical and mental disability Behavioural problems Clinical disorders Personality enrichment Career counseling Caring of carers
Modes of interventions Individual and group sessions, referrals Individual and group sessions, referrals Individual and group sessions, referrals Individual and group sessions, referrals Referrals and individual sessions Life skills trainings Group and individual sessions Group and individual sessions
Presence of a trained counselor Despite the presence of caring Sneh Sathis, children sometimes need a space and person to speak to specifically, and talk about things that worry and confuse them; make them scared or angry; ask questions about why and how things have happened; and ask about who is going to care for them now. Many times children may feel that they are not able to talk about these feelings. They may not receive the answers that they are seeking or they may not know how to put into words what is worrying them. Particularly for older children, it may be important to have a space that enables them to receive legitimisation of their feelings and experiences, to be reassured that they are not thinking the wrong things, and that their feelings and ideas are, in fact, normal. Each Sneh Ghar will also have situations with children who require specialised attention, such as in cases of severe trauma, abuse wherein the child cannot and does not want to talk i public, or where the Sneh Sathis are unsure or unable to deal with a child, such as in the case of children with learning disabilities, and mental illness. For all such requirements, where the attention to a “child” cannot be diluted by attention to the “children”, the presence of a trained, experienced, professional counselor is beneficial. 27
Follow-up of children who leave the Sneh Ghar In the non-custodial approach of a Sneh Ghar, where children may exit in between, attempts should be made to get in touch with the child or the family and ensure that actions are taken according to the plan. In case the child returns to the Sneh Ghar after a period of time, a new health assessment should be conducted. b) Nutrition One of the most important and effective ways to improve the health of children is to provide a balanced diet that addresses their complete nutritional requirements. The Sneh Sathis should fix the time for the meals and have it displayed for all. Food should be cooked according to a balanced pre decided menu; it should be hot and served in a clean setting and with dignity. Sneh Sathis and older children should collectively carry out the task of serving food. If the children cannot all be accommodated together, they should be served in batches starting with the youngest ones. Small quantities should be served initially and refilled as per requirement to avoid wastage. The youngest children should be assisted with feeding. Sample menu chart (for a Sneh Ghar located in North India) Breakfast Menu
Options • Roti and Aloo Fry
• Channa fry • Cornflakes and milk • Paratha and tea • Suji Halwa • Bread and boiled egg.
One serving of seasonal fruit
• Bread and Jam
• Moong dal, Rice • and Kheer • • Dal, Rice, raita • • Khichidi & sweet • Dalia
Rusk and Tea Besan Ladoo Poha Banana
• Chole/sambar & Rice
• Fan and Tea
• Dahi Pakori Pulao
• Custard/ Chowmein
• Poori Sabji • Rajma/Kadhi
• Chawal Sweet dish should be served at least once a week Non Veg. to be served once every week
• Tea and Rusk
• Roti and Mix Veg subzi • Roti and Aloo Palak • Roti and Aloo baigan subzi • Roti and Bhindi subzi • Roti and Aloo Lauki • Roti and Tori subzi • Khichdi
vi. Education Education is one of the most important tools we can provide for children who live on the streets; it empowers, provides opportunities, and is valued both by the children as well as society. In the context of street children, not only do the educational backgrounds vary, but their needs and aspirations also differ. These children need education options that include life and work skills focused courses and programmes, designed to help them successfully transition into mainstream education, all of which must be innovative. Engaging and tailored to their particular needs, the goal of the curriculum should be to develop a high level of confidence and self-esteem in the children, an awareness of constitutional rights and duties, an understanding of equality and justice, and the academic competencies and requisite skills to participate in and negotiate formal systems of education, livelihood and society. Using the reference points of formal school systems, there will be a heterogeneous mix of children in every Sneh Ghar, in terms of both age and knowledge levels. The backgrounds will range from those who have never been to school to those who went for brief periods but who have since lost touch with both their previous classroom learning and the structures and processes of normative education systems. Education planning should be as follows: a)
The Baseline Assessments
The baseline assessment is a critical tool to determine in which learning group a child belongs. It should essentially comprise of a body of consecutive activity worksheets and oral/physical activities, which test for knowledge in the five school subjects in accordance with the NCERT breakdown of different primary level class standards. The activities should be dynamic, hands-on, as oral as possible, and make use of real-life situation concepts which are familiar to the children, but ultimately reflect NCERT dictated learning concepts so that educators can deduce in which mainstream class standard a child’s current learning translates into. The education format filled for each child, based on these activities, should document vital information on the child’s education background, post-baseline starting level, which class the child will be mainstreamed into and the approximate timeline for achieving this goal. The format should also capture the child’s hopes and interests and what they “want to be when they grow up”. Ongoing assessments continue to track the child’s progress as s/he continues along her/his pathway. Children come with a variety of special skills and prior knowledge which might take time for the teachers and Sneh Sathis to discover, as they are not the usual skill-set for a child of the same age coming from a middle class family. Given this, information about various aspects of the child such as the physical health, mental health, legal situation, connection with family, community and inter/intra-personal skill documented in other forms is crucial 29
for gaining a comprehensive understanding of a child’s cognitive, academic, inter-social, and intra-social situation. b)
Post baseline assessment, all children need to be placed at the correct level along the selected bridge course curriculum that will prepare them to be mainstreamed in the age appropriate class. A bridge course is a compilation of all the concepts taught within a particular school level, for a given subject area. The concepts chosen here are those that are fundamental to further knowledge building in the subject. The bridge course, as its name suggests, focuses on helping children to bridge the gap to age-appropriate competencies, to understand and master these basic concepts in a time-bound learning programme. The aim is to help the children work their way through the course in 18 to 24 months, depending on how many levels the child is supposed to pass through to reach his/her age-appropriate grade level. However, the course duration and speed will largely depend on the baseline status and learning ability of each child. For example, a child who has a learning disability related to reading skills, or who has ongoing concentration issues would be expected to move at a slower pace than a child of the same age and education level without these challenges. In the execution of the bridge courses, setting the right pace is a critical factor. The child has to negotiate the concept ladder in accelerated learning mode in order to get ready for the mainstream system. If the teacher goes too slowly, the child will be insufficiently challenged and feel bored and lose interest. If the teacher goes too fast, learning will be deficient and incomplete. It is important to continuously exert a gentle pressure on the child to respond, understand and perform. The course, therefore, needs to be well-supported with attractive and interesting learning material and a wide range of activities to keep the child willingly engaged in the learning process. Material needs to be developed for different needs in students; to provide ample opportunities to apply the learnt concepts in various situations in order to reinforce learning. Assessment of learning needs to be done in a variety of ways. Tests that assess learning are built into the bridge teaching unit and the teacher should be careful not to continue to the next concept or level unless the prior level has been understood properly. Utmost care should be exercised while choosing/designing the bridge curriculum and pedagogy. It is essential that the course •• Provide a clear learning ladder and path to mainstreaming at different levels. •• Is flexible (permits movement of children in terms of levels). •• Is exciting enough for children to feel compelled to come and stay. c)
Depending on how well and how soon the child goes through his bridge learning programme, the teacher in the Sneh Ghar or the school decides when the child is ready to be sent into a formal school. 30
Selection of schools
It is best for the child to study in a school situated in the Sneh Ghar (if it is located in a running day school) or near the Home. This overarching policy is strongly recommended as it takes care of a number of issues such as arranging for transport, which involves both complex logistics and large funds, and losing time in travel which otherwise could be utilised for school support, extra-curricular activities, or free play. Children are self-sufficient and could easily walk to school in safe neighborhoods. At the Aman Vedika model in Hyderabad, children study within the school in which they live, so this problem does not arise. Children at the Kolkata Rainbow Homes walk to school in the neighbourhood. While selecting a school, the children’s personalities, learning styles, comfort level with learning medium and any special needs should also be taken into account. It is particularly important to assess older children’s needs and desires to see whether he or she needs the structure of a traditional school setting or if he or she would benefit from an alternative schooling approach. In addition, the school’s philosophy, policies, reputation, instructional approaches, facilities/ personnel resources, safety, curriculum, and pedagogy are important characteristics to take into account. The admission process in a formal school begins with the filling up of the admission forms. Clearly, street children would be unable to provide the documents required, which are address, parents’ signatures, proof of residence, period of domicile or certificates of parents’ income etc. and therefore Sneh Sathis should fill and submit the admission forms, wherein the organisation running the Sneh Ghar acts as the guardian of the child. l
Enabling the child to accept new adults in the world of learning - principal, teachers, school staff and volunteers
It is difficult for children who have been living independently on the streets with no adult supervision to accept figures of authority. The new system of education will suddenly place them in the midst of several adults who wield various degrees of authority. Dealing with such a major change in self-autonomy can be overwhelming. Often, it becomes too much for them, and results in what might appear to be inexplicable behaviour such as staying away from school or class, refusing to participate in class, not responding to the teacher, or following directions and more. As a means of respecting the children’s prior independence and self-rule, and letting them know that adult figures do appreciate their capacity for self-reliance, it is important to introduce the relevant adults to the children and to explain clearly who they are, their role in the school, and the nature of their engagement with the child. This gesture and manifestation of transparency clarifies uncertainties in the minds of the children, dispels fear that their free will may be taken away or abused, and respects the child’s dignity.
In the case of volunteers who flow in and out of children’s lives frequently, introductions should be facilitated with the adult and child on equal terms. A simple way to enter the child’s mental space is to introduce themselves and speak a little about their background and what they did before coming here. This introduction could be interspersed with a little anecdote or narrative involving other children or one’s own childhood. This kind of dialogue most often helps children to connect with the new person.
The adjustment process is made easier if the child is taken to the school before formally joining as a student. This way the child is able to become familiar with the surroundings and get a feel of the place. It is recommended that the child visit their classroom and even meet the class teacher prior to their first “official” day of school. However, it is also important where possible, to try and synchronise entry into schools with the beginning of the school year so that there are other new children joining at the same time. It is equally important, to prepare the school for the child. The school calls meetings for parents to help them understand the school’s environment, rules, traditions, course offerings, etc. These meetings can also be a good forum for the Sneh Sathis to share with the school their dream for the children from the street. Information regarding the profile of the children, their strengths and weaknesses, and aspects of their background should be shared with the principal and teachers. Sneh Sathis should also request the school team to visit the Sneh Ghar to better acquaint them with the facilities availed by children there, the way the children interact in the Sneh Ghar environment, and the manner in which school support and bridge course classes are conducted in-house. d)
The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) system
Any bridge course for the primary education takes an average of 12-18 months for a child to cover and for upper primary education it would require another, minimum of 6-10 months. If a child is about 14 years old when s/he comes to the Sneh Ghar, s/he would require a minimum of two years for completing the bridge course to be able to go into class 9 in any school. By this time the child would be older than his/her peers by another two to three years, which poses challenges socially, and in terms of matching the child’s cognitive development and learning needs with those of the rest of the class. If the child comes to the Sneh Ghar above the age of 14, these problems are even more acute. In such cases, if the child agrees, s/he is advised to appear for exams through the NIOS system, and thus attempt to graduate in time. In addition, the child will have the opportunity to learn at his/her own pace without the peer pressure and humiliation of learning with much younger students.
NIOS offer the following courses: A. Open Basic Education Programme, includes following three levels courses (i) OBE ‘A’ Level Course-Equivalent to class III (ii) OBE ‘B’ Level Course-Equivalent to class V (iii) OBE ‘C’ Level Course-Equivalent to class VIII
Secondary Course-Equivalent to class X
Senior Secondary Course-Equivalent to class XII
Most children who opt to complete their schooling through the NIOS are in the higher age bracket and feel a lingering need to begin earning in some way. This need is healthy, and Sneh Sathis should encourage them to engage in any employment, or vocational training, that they are willing to take on during the study period. However, at no time is it conveyed that this is what they would be doing for the rest of their lives. It is clearly emphasised that these are merely interim arrangements and once they acquire certifications for class 10 or 12, their future needs would be reviewed and the next steps would be planned with them. e)
Every Sneh Ghar needs to have a special provision for identifying and recommending interventions for children that have challenges with learning, communication, physical disabilities and development disorders, i.e., children with special needs. Once the challenge is identified during the baseline assessment, the child should be referred to the in-house counselor, who will detect the specificity and severity of the condition using prescribed techniques. In milder cases, the counselor should draw up an intervention care plan in collaboration with the teacher, and the child can be placed in an age appropriate regular class. In more acute cases, professional help should be sought for diagnosis as well as rehabilitation through schools for special children in the vicinity of the Sneh Ghar. (Integrated Education for Disabled Children (IEDC) was started with the objective of providing education opportunities to children with disabilities under the general school system in order to facilitate inclusion. Under this school 100 percent assistance is given to NGO or states. The scheme has provisions for early childhood education and support, aids and appliances for disabled children, escort allowance, transport allowance and teacher training. The Ministry of Welfare funds NGOs to work for the above services.)
There is often a tendency to believe that the best one should do for deprived children is to ensure their basic elementary schooling, and then shift them to the vocational field automatically. Behind such an approach is the tacit, usually unconscious assumption that for children of middle class backgrounds, their future lies necessarily in vocations that require thinking and others should work with their handS. Every child should be encouraged and 33
supported to pursue education for as far as the child feels able and willing, not stopping even at college education - although for this, obviously other funds would need to be located, since this is outside purview of SSA or even Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA). However, rich or poor, vocational education is valuable to teach dignity of labour. And for children who decide themselves that they do not want to study further, even though the opportunities exist for them, vocational education needs to be systematically planned. When there are a sufficient number of older children for whom their educational horizon is not within reach, the following should be undertaken to help them transit into the mainstream smoothly: 1.
Connect with a reputable ‘testing’ agency, who will test the children and give advice as to their optimum future profession, taking into consideration the employability, e.g., access to quality employment.
Organise vocational training including periods of training in practice (e.g. within an organisation, in a company, in health care etc.) and provide guidance during this period.
Assist the children in the process of applying for a job, until they find stable employment, including health insurance. They should be taught skills like operating a bank account, handling money and other necessities.
Make contacts with companies that are in need of employees and have sympathy for the project. Even a group of them could be identified, with regular contacts from a reintegration manager.
Help find living spaces which are safe and connected to the mother Sneh Ghar. The children who share a flat, unless they cannot afford this, should pay the rent. This adds to their self-esteem. In practice, many may have to go out and live in various parts of the city, and would not be able to live together, hence the monthly meetings in the Sneh Ghar.
Some of these free spirits do not take lightly to an authoritarian boss, bullying etc. and may be more inclined to start up a small business of their own, with micro credit or something similar. If and when the agency is surrounded by a group of ambassadors from the business community, they could be encouraged to create a fund by means of which future ‘entrepreneurs’ can be lifted into the saddle, and also provide some coaching.
Invite alumni to meet every once a month, in ‘their’ Sneh Ghar. Here they meet their friends, exchange experiences, have fun and if needed, in case of problems can consult a social worker. g)
Life skills training
The World Health Organisation (WHO 1993) defines Life Skills as “the abilities for
adaptive and positive behaviour that enables individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life”. Essentially, it means the teaching of abilities that are often taken for granted. The range of components in a Life Skills Programme for former street children needs to start at a more basic level to include requirements such as washing hands, bathing and brushing regularly and properly, and wearing undergarments. The curriculum should also include other crucial concepts such as value clarification, coping with addictions or HIV, and dealing with conflicts with the law.
WHO (1994) has identified a core set of life skills for the promotion and well being of children and adolescents. These are: •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• ••
Decision making Problem solving Creative thinking Critical thinking Effective communication Interpersonal relationship skills Self-awareness Empathy Coping with emotions Coping with stress
The Life Skills education programme demands a multi-faceted response to be effective. Linking the Life Skills Programme with other existing programmes in the Sneh Ghar is essential for maximising impact. Reviewing and establishing connections with other health, education, and enrichment programmes within the Sneh Ghars can make this possible. h)
There is no doubt that a working knowledge of English opens windows for career advancement for any child today, which would be shut to them otherwise. Just as almost every middle class parent aspires that their children should know English, we must aspire for the same for these disadvantaged children who have come into our care. Due to the large gap between their scholastic level and age, most children have a diminished sense of self and extreme discomfort, insecurity, and even fear when it comes to formal education. It has been found that teaching the English language, emphasising spoken and written skills helps dispel these discomforts and ease children into a normative learning environment. Due to the influences of the media and socially popular ideas linking fluency in English to upward mobility, prestigious career paths, technology skills, luxury, the exotic, and the successful, English is extremely sought after by the children also. The fact that students already see English as valuable before they even enter the classroom combines well with the fact that English language applications can immediately relate to and be used in “real-life” situations, which is slightly more difficult for subjects such as Maths, Hindi, and Environmental Science. The average English language courses should be approximately 12-18 months, depending on student learning speed. Having gone through this course, regardless of their age and cognitive development level, a child should be able to slip into an NCERT-based English class of their age appropriate grade-level. 35
Computer knowledge is also mandatory for children to move ahead. Children are required to be given basic IT accreditation for similar reasons as English. The practical nature of computer skills suggests the subject to be more immediately relevant than other subject-wise learning. Similarly, the skill-set involved and the immediate engagement with a machine appeals to practical learning styles that are often overlooked and neglected in the formal classroom learning context. Following interest garnered via learning computer skills and the English language, it has been found that students engage in the rest of the education programme much more readily. The computer course should provide training in word processing, spread-sheet and presentation software, in addition to knowledge of general computer hardware fundamentals training in how to use the Internet and the World Wide Web. j)
Enrichment activity programme
Children of the Sneh Ghar need and deserve opportunities to engage in diverse creative and sports activities after school, just as children all over the world. Play and new, creative inputs are important to take the monotony out of a daily routine and let the children experiment with different activities that may help them to discover certain latent talents within them. The enrichment programme should have a wide range of possibilities. At the same time, choices have to be made based on factors such as childrenâ€™s free time, budgets, and available physical space and resource persons. However, most important of all is to discover what the children would like to do. l
Planning for activities
A good way of facilitating this would be to prepare an inventory of interests. Each child could write activities that appeal to him/her. Such an inventory also makes it easier to separate children into groups. Working with children in groups and relating to activities based on their interests and not random selection made by others ensures a much higher chance of success and personal fulfillment for both children and Sneh Sathis. Examples of successful enrichment programmes across Delhi, Kolkata, and Hyderabad have been Western and Indian dance, theatre, music, sports, martial arts, art/craft, puppets, pottery to name a few. Besides these, celebrations of birthdays, festivals, regional or religious traditions can also be organised. Creative ways of celebrating festivals should be devised, where along with the preparation of the special food associated with a festival, the Sneh Sathis arrange for games and special activities which lend an out of the ordinary, carnival-like atmosphere to the celebrations. Sports Day, Annual Day, Independence Day, Republic Day, Holi, Eid, Ramzan Iftars, Dussehra, Diwali and different regional festivals can be planned. Children should be taken for picnics, movies and visits to museums, zoos, planetariums and places of historical interest. Outings may be organised 3-4 times in the 36
year; unplanned events would include the participation of children in music shows, concerts, attending workshops, and other opportunities that come up during the year. Outstation residential camps should be organised during summer and winter seasons, where children leave the campus for 3 to 7 days at a time. There should be a conscious effort to build understanding and respect for all humanitarian and cultural diversities in various religious traditions. As the activities increase in number and diversity, an annual calendar can be prepared in the beginning of the year marking specific dates for these activities, which will ensure that no events clash and all are scheduled. l
Providing facilities and equipment
Basic sports equipment should be provided in all the Sneh Ghars. Each should have footballs and a net, basketballs and nets, badminton racquets and shuttlecocks, a cricket set, skipping ropes, carom boards, board games (suitable for all children, not necessarily requiring education) such as ludo, Snakes and Ladders, Pictionary, and Chess and Checkers to name a few. Basic musical instruments such as the tabla, guitars, harmonium and dholak should also be made available. Each Sneh Ghar could list out and stock what they need or want based on the space available and interest expressed by the children. Children must be taught to respect and care for all this equipment, to ensure that it is valued and lasts many years. Having a pool of volunteers, resource persons or partner organisations that are able to and willing to support the various enrichment programmes in different Sneh Ghars is the most critical aspect of managing the enrichment programme. It is important to throw a wide net and garner resources from various community sources, be it colleges, theatre groups, art collectives, partner NGOs, technology universities, small businesses, Residential Welfare Associations, community centers, and other areas. While individuals who are willing to give time to children and come and take sessions with them are welcome, developing strategic partnerships with several consistent, well-established organisations who share similar goals and principles is a more long-term, sustainable arrangement. vii. Working with Families Some street children choose to break bonds with their families. It is our experience that they do not take these decisions lightly, and should respect its decisions. We should offer to assist them to find their families and homes, but only if they so choose. Many children, some of who come into the Sneh Ghar, have biological parents and in some cases they are even caring but have had to let go of the child because of destitution and lack of resources. A child who comes from the latter situation can have many problems arising out of separation from his/her family. The process of building a relationship with children having families can be complex and many Sneh Sathis may find it relatively easier to assume the role of carers for children who 37
do not have or do not maintain contact with the families. It is natural even for well meaning people to assume that a parent whose child is in the Sneh Ghar is not a good person and deserves to be or is relieved to be separated from the child. However, the reality is that while some families will be happy for their child to get this opportunity; others may be depressed or even angry. They may, at one level, understand that the Sneh Sathis are helping out, but may also carry a grudge for removing the child from their care and some will vacillate. In their frustration of coping with the separation from the child; combined with the loss of income, loss of the extra hand to cook, clean, manage infants/siblings etc., they may transfer their anxiety by finding a number of reasons to complain about the care that Sneh Sathis provide to their child. Some families make frequent visits and/or remove the child from the Sneh Ghar every now and then, disrupting the routine, and not allowing the child to settle down. Understandably Sneh Sathis should be prepared for these pitfalls. The biological family should not been seen as incapable and disinterested people and merely as a source of information. The child retains love and respect and regular contact with the family, Sneh Sathis should work towards ensuring this. The relationship with them needs to be strategically thought through, nurtured and developed for the positive progress of each child. One of the most important steps for the Sneh Sathi is to mentor the biological family and to enlist them as a partner in their child’s development. A critical aspect in this partnership is to ensure brief, focused meetings with the family at the time of admission. These meetings will help to identifying family and child needs and design an initial care plan to meet those needs. Another objective for these meetings will be to define how families and Sneh Sathis will work together. When these meetings are skillfully facilitated, it will communicate to the families that they have a critical role to play and what they have to say matters. Underlying principles for a mutually healthy, productive and enabling partnership with the families: ••
Build a relationship of trust and collaboration;
reate a non-threatening, respectful environment for meetings and dialogue. Treat C families with dignity and respect privacy. Practice patience, wisdom, and maturity to understand what the biological family is going through.
eep them informed of all policies and procedures that relate to them and their K children. Transfer clear information about the process, visitation plans, and time frames for decision-making and expectations for involvement in meetings and explain why these have been framed.
E xplain and emphasise the collaborative process and the different roles being played by the team for the child.
I nvolve them in preparing the care and outcome plan for the child. Discuss the observations and concerns and do not make false promises/over promise.
Use simple language and make clear communication.
Keep them informed of all information and developments regarding their child.
Assist in dealing with crisis they are currently facing on the streets – loss, separation, medical, legal difficulties etc.
viii. Legal Aspects of Working with Street Children a)
Registration of Children’s Homes under the Juvenile Justice Act1
It is legally unclear whether Sneh Ghars or residential schools and hostels established under SSA require a licence under the Juvenile Justice Act as well. It is our considered view that this is not required, because there are literally millions of poor children, and they cannot all be brought under the direct supervision of Child Welfare Committees. But there are some CWCs who believe that such licensing is required. The state governments must take a clear and considered view, and in case licensing is required, the standards of both Right to Education (RTE) and the JJ Act will need to be appropriately synthesised. An alternative could be that only children who lack all adult protection may be produced before CWCs, but the Sneh Ghar itself should not need specific licensing under the JJ Act. In case the state government decides that a license is necessary, an application and copies of the documents (see list below) must be submitted to the state government2 and to the respective the competent authority3. Subsequently the state government and the competent authority conduct an inspection and make a report on the basis of which the decision is made. Certification or recognition under sections 8, 9, 37, 41, 44 and 55 of the Act can also be received by making application and submitting the documents as listed in Rule 71.
All institutions and organisations running institutional or non-institutional care services for children in need of care and protection, whether run by the government or voluntary organization, shall get themselves registered under subsection (3) of section 34 of the Act.
Concerned nodal agency for implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act – For example: For child care institutions in Delhi the concerned nodal department is the Department of Women and Child Development.
Child Welfare Committee or the Juvenile Justice Board
Documents required under Rule 70 and 71 •• Application be made together with all rules/bye laws/society/list of members governing the running of the association/memorandum of association •• Balance sheet for organisation/child care institution •• Details of funders - government/others •• Past records of child care, public service provided by the institution •• Details of boarding lodging facilities •• Details of education facilities •• Details of recreational activities •• Facilities for general health care •• Nutrition standards - menu weekly, monthly •• Provision for vocational training and treatment services
Registration, certification and recognition for any or all purpose of child welfare can be obtained for a maximum of 3 years subject to yearly renewal by the state government. Management of state government run Homes may be transferred to organisations which have the capacity to run such institutions by recognising the organisation as a “fit institution”.4 Certification, registration and recognition for any or all purpose under the Act may be revoked if it is found inconsistent with the Act or the Rules.5 b)
Legal Protocol for Admission
All children, whether mobilised directly from the streets and persuaded over a period of time to move in to the protection of a Sneh Ghar or children who report to being lost, abandoned etc., must be notified to the nearest police station. The concerned duty officer or the Child Welfare Officer at the police station is required to make an FIR or an entry to the Daily Diary (DD) and provide the informant with a true copy of the same. The DD entry must enter the details of the child, parents, residence, background and circumstances in which the child was found. In case the child is of 7 years of age or above, the medical check-up of the child is mandatory. In special circumstances the medical check-up of girls/ boys below the age 7 years may be requested. At the end of this there must be two documents for each child; a)
Original copy of the DD entry/ FIR;
The original medical report of the child.
Rule 71 (3)
Rule 71 (4)
With these two documents, the child can be produced before the Child Welfare Committee/ Member (late at night, the child can be produced before a single member of the Committee for appropriate orders) and once the order is issued, shifted into the care of an institution (Sneh Ghar). A child referred directly to an institution (Sneh Ghar) by the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) or the CWC by way of written orders of all or any one member of the JJB or the CWC. The order mentions the name of the child, institution (Sneh Ghar) and the next date of hearing, signature and stamp of the JJB or CWC. The child himself/herself or the parent/guardian/ relative of the children can also approach the CWC/JJB for placement in an institution (Sneh Ghar). Once in the Sneh Ghar the Sneh Sathis should take a photograph of the child with the individual/social worker/police who come to hand over the child to the institution and note their names and contact numbers in the file of the child for future reference. Where the individual/social worker/police does not have appropriate orders of the CWC or JJB for placement of the child, the Sneh Sathis should allow the child to stay without any written orders late at night/dawn only where it has been confirmed by the Member Magistrate of the CWC or JJB via phone call, assuring that the order will be made subsequently. As far as possible the individual/police/social worker comes back within 24 hours and gets the appropriate orders from the CWC or JJB for the same Sneh Ghar or a different one depending on the age and needs of the child. Note: The JJB usually refers Juvenile in Conflict with Law (JCLs) to state government run Juvenile Homes or Special Homes however where appropriate the JJB uses its discretion and make special references of children to a Sneh Ghar for rehabilitation. c)
Follow up with CWC
The child is to be produced before the Committee for 3 months along with the case file by the child welfare officer/social worker (Sneh Sathi) for extension if the parents/guardian/ relative is not traced. Efforts by the case worker (Sneh Sathi) must be continued to trace the parents until it is ascertained that the child has no family or ostensible support, or is in continued need of care and protection; in such cases the Committee may order the child to remain in the Sneh Ghar for an extended period of one year until any other suitable alternative is found or the child attains majority, whichever is earlier.6 After due consideration of the childâ€™s best interest based on the childâ€™s wishes and inquiry reports, the Committee makes final orders regarding the child in question, which may be the following:
Sub Section 4 of section 33, Juvenile Justice Act.
•• •• ••
R estoration to parent/guardian/relative repatriation of the child to his family or nearest Children’s Home in his/her home state Committing the child to a child care institution (Sneh Ghar) (to be reviewed every year) Declare the child destitute and legally free for adoption
Legally, where the child is placed in a child care institution, recognised by the State Government7, the case worker/social worker of the institution where the child is placed undertakes an inquiry for submitting a report to the CWC at the end of 4 months. The social investigation report must be completed within 4 months, which is extendable by such period as the Committee may feel appropriate in special circumstances.8 d)
During the case history recording by the welfare officer, proper inquiries and efforts to trace the permanent residence of the child or location of parents/guardian/relative must be made. All the information found from the inquiry may be recorded in the prescribed form under the Rules. Important notes (notings) must be made on the file in a separate sheet on the left cover of the CWC case file. Where the biological parents have been traced, the child may be repatriated by the institution/Sneh Ghar, if the child so wishes, and we are convinced that the child’s best interests are protected and upheld. The biological parents must provide with documents for proof of identity, residence and relation to the child. The following documents are normally accepted as proof of residence, parentage and identity. The original papers must be brought for verification at the time of the hearing. Only photocopies are submitted to the CWC Voter ID card (with photo) Residence certificate Ration card ( which mentions names of all the family) A letter from the local MLA/Gram Panchayat Pradhan or Secretary/ local police station (where there is no valid proof of id or residence) certifying that the said child is indeed the son/daughter of the applicants. The letter must mention their names and residence address. e)
Procedure for escape/run-away child
In the event of a child leaving the institution (Sneh Ghar) without permission or committing an offence within the premises of the institution (Sneh Ghar), the information has to be sent to Section 34 of the Juvenile Justice Act
the police and the family, if known; and the detailed report of circumstances along with the efforts to trace the child, where he/she is missing, should be sent to the Board or Committee, as the case may be. f)
Procedure of transfer between child care institutions9
The Committee may, on request received from the case worker/ institution/Sneh Ghar, transfer the child from one home to another in special circumstances within the same state. Where transfer is made to a different state to facilitate restoration, it may be considered by the CWC with prior confirmation of contact with parents of the child or proof of prior intimation to the appropriate authorities/child care institution of the state of transfer where the child is to be placed. The following needs to be done by the Sneh Sathis in such a case: a)
Identify a government recognised child care institution, preferably Sneh Ghar, for safe stay of the child in the new state.
Inform the Superintendent of the Sneh Ghar about the transfer request and probable dates of such transfer.
Inform the Child Welfare Committee of the district which has jurisdiction over the said Sneh Ghar.
On the basis of the confirmation received from all of the above, make an application to the Child Welfare Committee requesting the transfer of the child with or without help of Third Battalion. A copy of such a transfer order must be furnished to the District Child Protection Unit.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Monitoring and evaluation is not an end in itself, but rather a starting point for reflection and dialogue with the internal team as well as external stakeholders. Regular program evaluations should be conducted based on collection and analysis of data that informs the Sneh Sathis and managers, that progress toward established goals is being achieved. It helps to evaluate and comprehensively appraise the long-term impacts and helps to identify what is working, what is not, and what should be done differently in the future. This is an iterative cycle that should be repeated frequently. Internally, measurable results can justify continued funding and clarify the return on efforts of the Sneh Sathis team. Externally, it can demonstrate commitment to competence and help the Sneh Ghar to maintain its social license to operate. It is also a credible tool to share information on the impacts with donors, involved communities and the public at large.
Some of the methods of Monitoring and Evaluating Program are a)
The responsibility of caring for a child does not end with providing basic needs, care and protection; the secondary level activities such as documentation have an indirect but a critical impact on the services. Instead of thinking of recording and documentation as something that hampers real work, its relevance should be understood and practiced by all Sneh Sathis. Besides being a statutory requirement, documentation helps in understanding and planning the physical, social, educational and emotional needs of the children. It streamlines processes, helping to avoid reinventing the wheel. Records to be maintained in a Sneh Ghar: 1.
Records pertaining to individual aspects of the child.
Records of activities and maintenance of the Sneh Ghar.
Child records are a set of documents maintained for an individual child and include critical information; that includes personal history, health status, educational progress and aspirations. It also gives insights into a child’s life. Child records become even more essential for street children as they do not have any proof or records for age, birth, address etc. A set of forms covering the various aspects of the child allow the Sneh Sathis to get a complete picture. 1.
Records pertaining to individual aspects of the child
The Child record forms should include the following: Form number 1 2
Field form Parents’ Consent Form
Third meeting with the child on the Field Before the child’s entry to the Sneh Ghar
Initial Admission Form
Within one month of child’s entry to the Sneh Ghar
First Version of Child’s Story
After two months of child’s stay in the Sneh Ghar
Self-Portrait of the child through After two months of child’s stay in the Sneh Ghar drawings
Name of the form
When to fill
(a) After one month of child’s entry to the Sneh Ghar (b) Monthly check up by general physician and biannually checkups by specialists
6 (a) 6 (b)
Second Version of the Child’s After six months of child’s stay in the Sneh Ghar Story Self Portrait of a child through After six months of child’s stay in the Sneh Ghar drawings
(a) After one month of child’s entry to Sneh Ghar (b) report card to be filled on a quarterly basis
(a) When the child exits from the Sneh Ghar (b) when the child re-enters the Sneh Ghar
Field form: The field form contains information about the child’s history, circumstances and whereabouts from the community s/he stays in. Documenting this information clearly shows the reasons for admitting her/him into the care of a Sneh Ghar. Consent Form: It is an important document which allows to seek permission from the parents stating that their child is in safe guardianship of the Sneh Ghar; making them aware of all the rules AND regulations; aims and objectives of the homes. Initial Admission Form: This form gives detailed information of the child’s background, and ensures that the initial formalities after the entry to the Sneh Ghar have been fulfilled. The form has a checklist to ensure and has received basic supplies after entering the Sneh Ghar. Filling up of the form gives an opportunity to the Sneh Sathis to interact with the child. Through this process, the child familiarises him/herself and feels accepted and welcomed in the Sneh Ghar. Health Records: Health assessments and maintenance of records are important to ensure prevention, early detection of remediable problems and have an individualised child plan for growing up in good health. Child’s Story: Every child has a story, each one being different. Weaving a portrait of ‘who’ each is, and repeating it every year helps to understand the child better and see the changes and transformations over the course of time. Self-portrait through Drawings and Photographs: Drawing is an important tool in the development of the desire to express and the skill to communicate. The self-portrait allows Sneh Sathis to understand how a child perceives him/herself. The child record should have a child’s portrait after two months of the child’s entry to the home and another after six months, trying to note if there is a difference in the perception of the self. The Sneh Ghar, if the space permits, should provide each child a space to call his/her own and the freedom to explore and express views. This can be done in two ways: (a)
Self-portrait in the files
Child art on the Sneh Ghar walls 45
In the form there should be a place for a yearly photograph of the child; which is important to maintain a record of the physical growth and developmental progress over the year.
Education: Education records are important in tracking the progress and planning future programmes and interventions according to the child’s needs and aspirations. It is also a means of assessing if the programme has been successful in fulfilling the educational needs of the child. Exit form: Children exit and enter a program several times and it is important to record the number of entries and exits made by the child. The mode of exit is important to consider; if the same child exits repeatedly, the Sneh Sathi should investigate the reasons and address it to retain the child. Documenting the action also helps in follow ups and maintaining the credibility of the Sneh Ghar. 2.
Records of activities and maintenance of the Sneh Ghar.
Statutory Records of activities & maintenance of the Sneh Ghar include: •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• •• ••
hild attendance C Staff attendance Cash register Fixed assets register Stock register Distribution register Food register Health register Education register Counseling record Legal record Balsabha record Narrative report of number of children and activities conducted with pictures Family meeting record Volunteer record Visitors book Staff meeting record Government monitoring record
An inspection is a simple yet a powerful accountability tool. Conducted over an entire day, the inspector relies on observations, interviews with Sneh Sathis and children and 46
examination of records, equipments, etc. to assess and generate a written report of the status of the range and quality of services offered in the Sneh Ghar. Ideally, inspections should be undertaken fortnightly, once by the programme head, and once more by an external volunteer. The gaps identified and the action points corresponding to them should be recorded carefully and used as a reference point for the next inspection. c)
In order to ensure that the child in the Sneh Ghar is truly the neediest of needy, a vulnerability check should be conducted on an annual basis. While the case of children who lived alone on the street will remain unquestionable, the eligibility of those who lived with their families should be reviewed through this process. This can be done by undertaking an informal yet careful physical assessment of the current financial and social status of the family. While this exercise will improve further the bond with the genuinely deprived families, it will help to restore children whose family’s resources have improved. This will also ensure that the Sneh Ghar is not misused as a dumping ground by well off but disinterested families. d)
Given that the Sneh Sathis form the spine and define the quality of care in Sneh Ghars, a half yearly or annual review should be undertaken. A 360 degree appraisal for all the roles based on specifically articulated key competencies would generate feedback from theselves, peers as well as the managers and would be an invaluable mechanism to understand how each Sneh Sathi is performing in his/her current role. It will also highlight the challenges they are facing and the growth aspirations that they nurture. The analysis and knowledge form the basis for the next years training, work allocation planning etc, management aspects that have a direct bearing on the overall value of the program. x. Training Preliminary as well as ongoing training are of utmost importance for the internalisation of the values and norms of the specialised nature of work with the former street children. The new Sneh Sathis should be educated about all the aspects of the child and then work with them to be able to develop an understanding of their interconnectedness. Time should be allotted to every individual to learn, plan, share, discuss and revisit the standards of care. It should be mandatory for all new Sneh Sathis to begin their training with fieldwork. Follow up and advanced training should be provided on a prescheduled basis. a)
Core Basic Training suggested for both Sneh Sathis
Understanding the street child; Communicating and building healthy relationships with vulnerable children and youth; Working with the community;
•• •• •• ••
Orientation to child rights; Child development - developmental needs and strengths of children - including psychosocial and universal needs; Minimum standards of care; Mental health and life skills; Positive discipline; Activity programmes which support needs and build strengths; Home management and housekeeping; Health care; Education programmes: Bridge, English, Computer Education, Teacher Training Modules, Education Management and Assessment; Laws pertaining to children; Documentation; Basic of finance - budgeting, day-to-day accounting; Project management.
Community Involvement and Services
•• •• •• •• •• •• ••
The Sneh Ghar in many instances is likely to be located within poor communities, with a high population of slum and out of school children. The Sneh Ghars can be fashioned as Child Rights Centres, to reach out to all ‘Out of School’, working and at-risk children in the vicinity. If feasible, Sneh Ghars can become Learning Centres (LC) to this set of under-privileged children. The services of bridge, enrichment and vocational education as well as one meal (mid-day or evening) is being provided to the regular children should also be provided to them. This could be funded separately from the main Sneh Ghar programme. xii. Funds and budget for Sneh Ghars The Sneh Ghars are recognised as Residential Bridge Course Program (RBC) or Residential Special Training Centres (RSTCs) for out of school children under the SSA. As per the current norms a sum of Rs. 19,200 per child per annum (52.6 per child per day) is made available and should be accessed from the state department. Based on the experience of running RBC in Delhi, Kolkata and Hyderabad the average costs per child per day is estimated at Rs. 134.8. The outstanding amount should to be raised from other sources such as private funding agencies, donor organisation or individual donors. Costs can be significantly reduced by engaging volunteers. Donations in cash or kind can help to reduce costs. The major heads under which the expenses are planned are: a) Renovation costs b) Initial set up costs and c) Recurring costs. a)
The SSA allots a) unused government school buildings; b) sparsely populated government 48
Setup costs for a Sneh Ghar for 100 children (will be built up from 25 to 100 children)
Heads Particulars Emergency lamps Computer UPS Printer/photocopy Telephone Sewing Machine Torch, Mosquito Repellants Outdoor play equipment TV DVD Satellite/dish connection Medical equipments Refrigerator Mixer Grinder Cooking Gas Connection Commercial Gas stove Washing machine Exhaust fans Water Purifier Water cooler cum storage tank for drinking water Fans Large storage trunks Desert Cooler Geyser Fire extinguishers Subtotal
4 3 3 1 1 1
300 30000 4000 8000 2000 3000
One for Office use Only installation charges
1200 90000 12000 8000 2000 3000
22000 35000 2500
Lump sum 2000 Lump sum for Swings, slide, jungle gym 22000 35000 2500
3000 20000 30000 10000
3000 20000 30000 10000
4 connection - 8 cylinders
8000 25000 One for kitchen and one for bathroom 1800 with installation 35000
1 20 2 4 3 4
33000 1800 2000 6000 7500 5000
1 1 1
33000 36000 4000 24000 22500 20000 466000
Cupboards Tables & chairs
Lockers Shoe rack Subtotal Mattresses Sheets(2 sets each ) Pillow(set of I pillow & 2 covers) Rubber sheets Quilts Subtotal Dustbins Display boards Doormats Curtains Mats full length Mirror Black board
lump sum 9 Sets of 12 lockers each @ 15000/locker set Lump sum
115 30 115
250 100 350
For children who bed wet
4 5 1
300 200 5000 5000 2000 8000
15000 225 2000
(Big size) lump sum Lump sum Lump sum Lump sum Lump sum (buckets, mugs, water storage buckets, wash basins, stools, clothes string, clips etc 15000 900 Lump sum 2000 42100
Lump sum -with installation Lump sum
Lump sum Lump sum
15000 60000 15000 30000
Bathroom supplies Bathroom Mirrors Hose pipe Subtotal Utensils for Bulk cooking Serving utensils Storage containers All sizes Subtotal Books for library Curriculum text books Teaching learning materials Subtotal
135000 8000 213000 46000 92000 28750 3000 40250 210000 1200 2000 1000 5000 5000 2000 8000
50000 95000 1086100
school buildings to be used as residential homes; c) When the first two options are not feasible, provision for new constructions is also available. A Sneh Ghar will need minor or substantial renovation based on the state of the building or constructions. The modifications that will be required to make the building livable can include creation of a functional kitchen, bathrooms, dormitories, and providing facilities like drinking and running water supply, electric connection and sewage connection. b)
Initial set up costs
The initial year of establishing a Sneh Ghar would include the cost of providing basic amenities with fixed assets such as furniture, utensils, bedding, electric and non-electric equipments etc. In the successive years, maintenance costs need to be incorporated to for the upkeep these items. c) Recurring cost The recurring costs include expenses that will be incurred on an ongoing basis for running a Sneh Ghar. It includes costs of providing food, health, education, clothing, toiletries to all children. In the second year, 15% of the set up costs have been included for annual maintenance. Some of the major areas of recurring expenditure are: i. Education costs: This cost covers expense for preparing children in the Sneh Ghar for mainstream education through bridge courses. A major portion of the expenditure is planned for school provisions such as uniforms, shoes, bags and stationary, once the children are enrolled in schools. A portion of this budget is also need for teachers for the bridge course and continuous school support. School transport has to be provided in case the school is located far from the Sneh Ghar. ii. Non academic and recreational activities: This budget covers a range of enrichment activities like sports day, annual day, celebration of festivals/ birthdays, outings etc. It includes equipments for indoor and outdoor sports, musical instruments and fees for external resource person who may be called in to train or help children in cocurricular and extra-curricular activities. iii. Personnel costs: Salaries of all Sneh Sathis who work part time and full time are budgeted in this item of the budget. iv. Administration costs: This cover a range of allied costs such as repairs, communication, internet, water, electric supply, cooking gas, conveyance, etc.
Recurring direct Costs for 100 children 1st Year Periodicity
Annual Annual Annual Annual Annual Monthly Monthly Monthly
Clothing & Footwear
Non academic Education & Recreation
Particulars Two Piece uniform - 2 pairs School shoes -2 pairs Socks School bag and stationary Course books Remedial teachers fees Stationary Extra Expenses in school education
School Transport Uniform, school shoes, socks, bag and stationary for extra 15 children
Sports equipments indoor and outdoor Musical instruments
Annual Annual Monthly Monthly Subtotal Annual Quarters (4 times a yr) Half yearly Every 2 Quarters(2 times year)
Outing Annual day/Sports day Festival/Patriotic days/ Birthdays Resource persons fees Rain coats and warm clothing 1 set of new clothes and 2 sets of undergarments Bathroom slippers
May be partly or fully subsidized by the schools 100 Assuming that only half the children are mainstreamed May be partly or fully given by the schools Also includes Special uniforms Includes annual trips, camps, picnics
3000 6000 10000
300000 30000 72000 120000
250000 250000 100000 100000
Music, dance, theatre
Periodicity Half yearly Half yearly
Civil/games shoes floater/sandal Clothing and foot wear for 15 floating children
Includes shaving kits, haircuts & sanitary napkins
Quarterly - All Toiletries and Personal 4 Quarters Grooming kit Toiletries for daily use for Monthly children Monthly Housekeeping - Toiletries Includes shaving kits, haircuts & Toiletries for 15 floating sanitary napkins Contingency children Subtotal
Three meals & 2 tea/ snacks daily
Health-curative, preventive, promotional interventions(including major surgeries @ 1lac)) Cost of repatriating children-train/travel of field worker and child, food and other expenses incurred during the trip to child’s home
Home coordinator Home manager Housemother Health worker
1 1 4 1
15000 8000 5000 5000
96000 96000 180000 96000 240000 60000
Monthly Subtotal Monthly Monthly Monthly
Monthly Monthly Monthly Monthly Monthly
Subtotal Monthly Monthly Monthly Monthly
Particulars Security officer(2)night & day Field worker Counselor Teachers Legal welfare officer Accountant
Part time Part time Part time Part time
2 1 1 2 1 1
5000 4500 7500 8000 8000 4000
Annual costs 120000 54000 90000 192000 96000 48000 1032000 96000 10800 36000 96000
Lump sum Lump sum Lump sum Lump sum
8000 900 3000 8000
Monthly Monthly Monthly Monthly Annual Annual Subtotal
Repairs Internet Communication Electricity Cooking gas(15 cylinders) Water Conveyance Stationery for office Maintenance Financial Audit
Lump sum Lump sum Lump sum Lump sum Lump sum
550 2000 7000 2000 250000
99000 24000 84000 24000 250000 75000 719800
Recurring direct Costs for 100 children 2nd Year Periodicity
3000 6000 10000
300000 30000 72000 120000
Music, dance ,theatre
24000 120000 534000
1 set of new clothes and 2 sets of undergarments Bathroom slippers
Towel Civil/games shoes
Two Piece uniform - 2 pairs School shoes -2 pairs Socks School bag and Annual stationary Annual Course books Monthly Remedial teachers fees Monthly Stationary Extra Expenses in school Monthly education Monthly School Transport Uniform, school shoes, socks, bag and stationary for extra 15 Contingency children Subtotal Sports equipments Annual indoor and outdoor Annual Musical instruments
Education Non academic Education & Recreation Clothing & Footwear
Annual Annual Monthly Monthly Subtotal Annual Quarters (4 times a yr) Half yearly Every 2 Quarters(2 times year) Half yearly
Annual Annual Annual
Outing Annual day/Sports day Festival/Patriotic days/ Birthdays Resource persons fees Rain coats and warm clothing
may be Partly or fully given by the schools
Assuming that only half the children are mainstreamed May be partly or fully given by the schools Also includes Special uniforms Includes annual trips, camps, picnics
floater/sandal Clothing and foot wear Contingency for 15 floating children Subtotal Quarterly - All 4 Toiletries and Personal Quarters Grooming kit Toiletries for daily use Monthly for children Housekeeping – Monthly Toiletries
Includes shaving kits, haircuts & sanitary napkins
1 1 4 1
15000 8000 5000 5000
96000 96000 180000 96000 240000 60000
2 1 1
5000 4500 7500
120000 54000 90000
Includes shaving kits, Toiletries for 15 floating haircuts & sanitary Contingency children napkins Subtotal Three meals & 2 tea/ Monthly snacks daily Lump sum Subtotal Health-curative, preventive, promotional interventions(including major surgeries @ Monthly 1lac)) Lump sum Subtotal Cost of repatriating children-train/travel of field worker and child, food and other expenses incurred during the trip to child’s Monthly home Lump sum Subtotal Monthly Home coordinator Monthly Home manager Monthly Housemother Health worker Part time Security officer(2)night Monthly & day Monthly Field worker Part time Monthly Counselor Part time
Periodicity Monthly Monthly
Subtotal Monthly Monthly Monthly Monthly Monthly Monthly Monthly Monthly Annual Annual Subtotal
Teachers Legal welfare officer Accountant
Part time Part time
2 1 1
8000 8000 4000
Repairs Internet Communication Electricity Cooking gas(15 cylinders) Water Conveyance Stationery for office Maintenance Financial Audit Replacing fixed assets @ 15% of original set up cost
Lump sum Lump sum Lump sum Lump sum
8000 900 3000 8000
Lump sum Lump sum
550 2000 7000 2000 250000
192000 96000 48000 1032000 96000 10800 36000 96000 99000 24000 84000 24000 250000 75000 719800
Renovation (1st year only) Initial Set up (1st Year only) a. Equipment b. Furniture c. Utensils e. Bedding f. Library & learning g. General items Subtotal , Setup
800000 466000 213000 60000 210000 95000 42100 1086100
Recurring costs for the Sneh Ghar in 1st Year C 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Recurring Costs Food Health Education Non academic education & Recreation Clothing and foot wear Toiletries Repatriation Personnel Administration Subtotal, Recurring
Amount 1260000 280000 747000 534000 552000 276000 96000 1032000 719800 5496800
Per child cost 34.5 7.7 20.5 14.6 15.1 7.6 2.6 28.3 19.7 150.6
Recurring costs for the Sneh Ghar in 2nd year C 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Recurring Food Health Education Non academic education & Recreation Clothing and foot wear Toiletries Repatriation Personnel Administration Replacing fixed assets @ 15% of original set up cost Subtotal, Recurring
1260000 280000 747000 534000 552000 276000 96000 1032000 719800 162915 5659715
Per child cost 34.5 7.7 20.5 14.6 15.1 7.6 2.6 28.3 19.7 4.5 155.1
Budget Summary Total cost
1st Year 2nd year
Per child, per day cost
Govt. contribution per child, per day, for 100 children
Money to be raised from other sources
Per child/ per day amount to be raised from other sources
setup+ recurring costs recurring costs 10% increase of 2nd year costs
Budget Summary: a)
First year: l The lump sum amount for renovation is budgeted at Rs. 8 lakh in the first year. l The initial set up costs in the first year would be approximately 11 lakh per Sneh Ghar
Second year l The recurring costs for second year include replacement of fixed assets at the rate of 15% of set up costs in the first year.
Third year l A 10% increase from the second year has been included to cover factors such as inflation.
Life beyond Sneh Ghars
In the best interest of the child, one needs to work out together a plan for an eventful future, beyond the open gates of the Sneh Ghars. Rehabilitation and social reintegration of children10 1.
For very small children who have no known parents, the best option is adoption, under the provisions of the JJ Act (which are more inclusive of varied faith groups than older adoption laws in the country). A regular control check after adoption also seems necessary, if no thorough screening has been carried out before.
For very small children who have biological parents, but are unable or unwilling to take responsible care of the child (because of incarceration, alcohol or drug abuse, physical violence, or extreme destitution), the idea of paid or supported foster care, should be explained again under the provisions of the JJ Act. Foster mothers or foster parents, should be selected carefully and them small homes should be hired for them near the Sneh Ghar. After being reassured about their character and parenting qualities, we can place 6, or a maximum of up to 8 children in their care. They would be paid per child, an allowance of around half of the per child costs in a Sneh Ghar (not including room rent and allowance for the house parent). The satellite home will be closely supported by the ‘mother’ Sneh Ghar, regularly visited by Sneh Sathis, and the child integrated not only in a mainstream school, but also in many cocurricular activities (health care and counselling) of the mother Sneh Ghar. Also with small children, even if the foster parents seem all right but it can be noticed that a child is not happy, in that case s/he should be offered the alternative of returning to the Sneh Ghar. The child can also come out and play with the children of the Sneh Ghar.
For small children, these two options will be followed without the child’s explicit consent. But for older children in the same circumstances as are listed above in point 1 and 2, the same options of adoption or supported foster care should be explored, but with the consent of the child.
The process of child’s rehabilitation and social reintegration has to begin in the Children’s Home or Special Home as per recommendation of the CWC. This can be carried out through non-institutional services provided under the Juvenile Justice Act.
a) Adoption - Section 41 and corresponding Rule 33 of the Delhi Rules b) Foster care - Section 42 and corresponding Rule 34, 35 and 36 of the Delhi Rules c) Sponsorship - Section 43 and corresponding Rule 37 of the Delhi Rules d) Sending the child to after-care organization-Section 43 and Rule 38 of the Delhi Rules
If the child decides, with the consultation of the Sneh Sathis, to return to the biological home, this should be supported. After due counselling of the child, and reassuring the child that s/he is free to return if things do not work out at home, they should be accompanied to the biological home and support should be extended to the family. The Sneh Sathis team should make 6-monthly unexpected home visits to be reassured about the welfare of the child, for at least 2 years after repatriation.
For older children, when they choose to move out of the Sneh Ghar, they should be offered space in satellite supported homes, where a group of same-sex older graduated youth can live together. The Sneh Sathis team could help them find employment, as well as a suitable shared home. For up to 3 years after graduation, Sneh Ghars should support the rental costs of the home and give an allowance to the youth if he or she does not have a job. The one condition should be that no one will be supported to move to a group home unless they spend at least one year in a Sneh Ghar, learning life skills and getting basic education.
Conclusion A child who made the streets his or her home, because they had no parents, or because their parents failed them, or because their parents are homeless, can best access their Rights to Education, Food, Health Care and Protection, in open, welcoming, loving comprehensive care homes and hostels, which we call Sneh Ghars. The children need to be bridged for the lost years of schooling, mainstreamed into regular schooling, but retained in the care of these residential hostels. Since hundreds of such hostels are required, these can be best established by upgrading running day schools which have open spaces for expansion into residential hostels and schools, or Sneh Ghars. In these Ghars, children with and without families can study together as equals, and achieve their full potential and rights.
la?k"kZ dh jkgksa esa la?k”kZ dh jkgksa esa] dksbZ rks gekjk gks---gj jkr dh ckgksa esa] lqcg dk ut+kjk gks la?k”kZ dh jkgksa esa] dksbZ rks gekjk gks---geus rks t+ekus dh] jaft’k dks gh ih Mkyk pqHkrs gq, gj iy dks] gl [ksy ds th Mkyk D;ksa iwN jgs gks rqe] D;k geus xok;k gS thou dh rks cl NksM+ks] gj [okc ijk;k gS la?k”kZ dh jkgksa esa] dksbZ rks gekjk gks---oks iy Hkh Fkk viuk] ;s iy Hkh gekjk gS la?k”kZ dh jkgksa esa] vc dksbZ gekjk gS---oks jkrsa feV gh xbZ] ,d lqcg vkbZ u;h py jgs veu dh jkgksa ij] gj [okc gekjk gS ,d vk’kk veu dh] gS vc bl fny esa dksbZ jkg u vc jksds] dqN dj ds fn[kkuk gS c<+k,axs ge dne dks] feVk;saxs gj xae dks pysaxs mu jkgksa ij] tgk¡ ls fn[krk fdukjk gS la?k”kZ dh jkgksa esa] gj dksbZ gekjk gS---Written by one of the child from Sneh Ghars in Delhi
Open Hearts, Open Gates Handbook for Policy Makers and Practitioners Ensuring the Right to Education of Urban Deprived Children Under SSA
Printed by: Print World # 9810185402
Establishing and Managing Non Custodial, Comprehensive, Residential Care Homes and Hostels for Street Children or Sneh Ghars
Indradhanush Academy Centre for Equity Studies 105/6A, 1st Floor, Adhchini, Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi-110017 Ph.: 011-26514688, 41078058 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: centreforequitystudies.com
Centre for Equity Studies
Indradhanush Academy Centre For Equity Studies