A two-day workshop on “Promoting Alternative Care for Children in Rajasthan” was organized by Save the Children & Foster Care India in collaboration with the office of AD Child Rights & DCPU, Udaipur and Dungarpur, on December 12-13, 2013.
On day 1, Ramakant Satapathy (Program Coordinator, Save the Children) brought into notice an important thing that organizations like Save the Children, IFCO, SOS etc. will together present a memorandum call for action in the UN General Assembly (to be held in September 2013), regarding alternative care for children.
Govind Beniwal (Member, Rajasthan State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (RSCPCR)) took a session on current status of alternative care in Rajasthan. He emphasized that not only orphan but abandoned, surrendered and juvenile justice offending children also require attention. He also highlighted the various schemes running in Rajasthan such as Palanhar Yojana, Mukhya Mantri Hunar Vikas Yojana, etc.
Dr. Nilima Mehta (Consultant of Child Protection and ex-Child Welfare Committee Chair, Mumbai) presented a powerpoint on child protection and alternative care. She explained that some children suffer from institutionalized syndrome and therefore family based interventions should be considered.
A powerpoint presentation by Milan Mandanna & Ann Mary George (Program Coordinators, BOSCO, Bangalore) sought to clear the typical conclusion and misunderstanding between foster care, adoption and kinship care.
During the first day there was a parallel session with families and children. They explored concepts surrounding kinship care, exploring the idea of family and the needs and wants of children. It was a fully participatory and interactive session with families.
The second day of the workshop began with Rajgopal Saikumar’s (Centre for Law & Policy Research, Bangalore) sharing of national and Rajasthan specific policy examination on development of foster care law and implementation. The research revealed that it is the most fertile time for the framing and implementation fo foster care guidelines. He insisted that the definitions of foster care should be made more clear and simple.
The three families from the first day who has current experience with kinship or foster care were invited to share their experiences. They shared their experiences on facing challenges and their present situation. A puppet show by one of the families focused upon how important it is for orphan children to have a family and secured future.
The following conclusions were drawn and accordingly a letter will be presented to the honorable CM of Rajasthan including the following suggestions:
· Work upon the standardization of guidelines and policy for foster care in Rajasthan.
· Strengthening of the existing child protection systems, structures and their capacities.
· Provide sponsorship for kinship care.
· To frame laws for foster care under the JJ Rules 2011.
· To monitor the beneficiaries of Palanhar Yojana and to explore new possibilities.
· To look into alterative care for children.
· To provide for empowerment to families through special schemes and to implement the same.
Ian Anand Forber Pratt (President, Foster Care India) delivered the vote of thanks. The program was attended by 80 participants and was facilitated by Manish Prasad and Neema Pant and Devashish Mishra.
via Press Note