Indore: In keeping with its goal of finding a safe, loving family for every orphaned and vulnerable child in their lifetime, Miracle Foundation India, a fully-licensed Section 25 non-profit organization, recently initiated a workshop in partnership with Aarambh Children’s Home in Indore. The workshop was themed around ‘Working together for Family-Based Care’ wherein the government and non-government stakeholders, crucial to childcare were brought together for a discussing a systematic change; transforming Institutional Care to Family-Based Care. The first batch of the workshop was held at Hotel Surya, Indore, on 18th and 19th September 2019. With Aarambh Children’s Home stepping forward as a change agent and an early adopter of transformation to Family-Based Care (FBC), the goal of the workshop was to help the state child rights practitioners to develop a deeper understanding of elements, principles, and steps of transforming care for children.
This Family-Based Care initiative included officials such as CWC members, ICPS members, CCI representatives from Indore District and prominent NGO representatives working in Community Development. Key members in attendance were Dr. Sandhya Vyas (Joint Director, WCD, MP), Mr. Rajnish Sinha (Deputy Director, WCD, MP) and Ms. Bharti Dangi (Assistant Director, WCD – Dhar District).
The focus of the workshop was on working together to support children transitioning from childcare institutions (CCIs) to their family while continuing to ensure that children are protected from risk, danger, and have the care they need for this change. The aim was also to help these stakeholders in creating linkages between CCIs and government/community-based NGOs. Over the course of the workshop, a lot of current trends and success stories on gatekeeping and prevention of children entering the CCIs were discussed. The workshop presented an opportunity to learn and share about the current landscape and measures being taken in relation to family-based and alternative care.
The discussions were centred around exploring other alternative care options instead of resorting to CCIs as the first available solution. This initiative also witnessed Miracle Foundation’s Youth Ambassadors, Brahmadev, representing as a voice of millions of children living in CCIs with their emotions and concerns about moving back to their family.
The event concluded with the proposal of forming a committee whereby Aarambh, along with CWC and ICPS representatives will come together more frequently to discuss FBC and steps related to it.
Speaking on the initiative, Nivedita DasGupta, Country Head, Miracle Foundation India said, “At Miracle Foundation India, it is our constant endeavour to empower orphaned and vulnerable children to reach their full potential and help them transition from CCI’s into the care of a loving family. We know that children belong in families and we’re doing this very systematically through family-based care that ensures that every child has everything they need to thrive while living in a family.
Having said that, the transition itself needs to be handled very carefully and in a sensitive manner, and go step by step to ensure the safety and security of each child. By bringing together various stakeholders, the workshop was centred on these discussions and their actual implementation at the ground level. We are happy that our pilot partner, Aarambh Children’s Home, led this initiative with us. I look forward to a widespread transformation across the country.”
Commenting on the same Mr. Rajnish Sinha, Deputy Director, WCD, MP said, “Family Based Care is a much-needed step and we should have done this a long time ago. We need to change the mindset at every level. There are lakhs of children living in CCIs and as government officials, it is our responsibility to follow and update every child’s information as per the JJ Act. I hope that today, through this workshop, we can understand a number of different situations and learn to be tactful. So, let us all be open to new ideas and practices, share as much, and learn to work together.”
Since its inception in 2000, Miracle Foundation India has been working tirelessly towards facilitating every child’s right to be under the care of a loving family. Over the years it has taken several measures for improving the standards of childcare at CCIs while children await transition to a permanent family. The organization has joined hands with several NGOs who share the same vision of empowering every child to reach their true potential. Through the first batch of this workshop, Miracle Foundation India and Aarambh have piloted the FBC initiative in Madhya Pradesh. Both organizations aim for this to set the ball rolling for other CCIs to get involved and continue to improve practices and their implementation in the future.