Family Strengthening & Gatekeeping

We work with families and Communities at risk to help them build their capacities so that the children are well cared and unnecessary family separation is avoided. The best way to care for abandoned or orphaned children is to help them along with their families before take any such step of abandoning their children.
YCDA’s Family Strengthening Programs provide support todeprived families focusing on their economic wellbeing, good parenting skills and access to various social security schemes.
Gatekeeping is an essential tool in diverting children from unnecessary entry into alternative care, and reducing the numbers of children entering Child Care Institutions. It is the process of assessing whether reunification is possible and appropriate, and if not, what form of alternative care is best given to a particular child. For children residing in residential care/CCIs, every effort is being made for a smooth transition to family care or appropriate family based care.
YCDA primarily works at the Family level to facilitate basic servicesfor children and their wellbeing and simultaneously work at the apex level where placements are happening. In Indian context Child Welfare Committee (CWCs) are the only competent authorities to decide over child placement.

Poverty has been the most important reason for children leaving families. Financially strengthening families is the core of our intervention as a strategy to check children from entering in to CCIs.

Family strengthening should also complement Government linkage programmes such as access to social security schemes benefits.

  • Government Scheme Linkages -

    The maximum strata of the society in this field comes from a vulnerable background and thus face a lot of hardships that might lead to children getting separated from their family. In order to prevent this, YCDA links the family with poverty elevation and government schemes. YCDA after identifying such vulnerable families links them with these schemes. Along with this time to time awareness of such schemes is also provided. These include providing birth registration, adequate housing, health, education and social welfare services, as well as fighting poverty, substance abuse, discrimination, stigma, violence, and sexual abuse. The five main programs which provide a semblance to the social security architecture in India—Public Distribution System (PDS), Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDMS), Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and pensions for widows and elderly—have played a crucial role in the reduction of poverty, increasing incomes, and reducing malnutrition.

    Household economic strengthening includes activities that help a family restore, improve and maintain their income, and build savings and assets. Programme also consists of grants and loans for income generating activities, technical and skills training, and legal advice on inheritance and property rights.

  • Strengthening Household Level Income/ Income Generation Program(IGP) -

    Children who are in vulnerable family conditions, such as children of single parents with no source of income or financial support. Therefore, YCDA has taken an initiative to provide those families with financial support to start a source of income, as per their capacity and interest called Income Generation Program (IGP). Through this initiative the Care Givers Association some amount of money as loans from the revolving support to these families which the family can return in small amounts after gaining profit from whatever they earn. YCDA helps them in making proper business plans and provide handholding and technical support from time to time. Thus through this IGP support families now gain profit and thus spend this profit money earned for the education of the children.

  • Link the family with the Self Help Group (SHG) -

    In this geographical area in some cases, women are the basic earner in the family due to various reasons such as death of the husband, remarriage, separation but due to social limitations, the women of the households are unable to go out in search of income and in other cases, parents leave their children behind for seasonal migration. This in turn leads to family separation. In order to prevent this YCDA supports women of these families to get linked with small Self Help Groups (SHGs). SHGs are being used across a range of states to support caregivers and offer more holistic support that combines economic strengthening with a fundamental focus on building social capacities. SHGs are voluntary groups, comprised of 15 to 20 women who meet every week to save, start small business activities and grant loans to one another, as well as engaging in economic activities and developing valuable support networks enabling them to overcome challenges, improve their economic status, increase social capital. This provides a platform to address issues such as child marriage, child protection and child.

Key Process:

  1. Vulnerability mapping in a systematic way using certain tools and techniques in collaboration with the village child protection committees and other existing Govt institutions of the village and panchayat.
  2. Scrutinized the family through the assessment and identified the potentiality and skilled members of the family
  3. Provided capacity building training on business plan, entrepreneurship and financial literacy to the family members interested fir the small business including the loss and profit
  4. Financial Linkage to the families either with the banks or with the care leavers association for the IGP purposes and small business
  5. Capacity building training to the family for the good parenting skill, child protection and child rights
  6. Monitoring to the families and tracking them for the inclusion of the social security benefits by the local self governance and existing child protection mechanisms with an encouragement for the savings and contribution towards the education, nutrition and health needs of the child.

Social investigation means a report prepared by the Probation Officer/Social worker in relation to a child including all information pertaining to the containing information regarding the antecedents and family background of the child and other material circumstances likely to be of assistance to the Board or to go for investigation for the purpose of collecting information relevant to appropriate disposition of a child in need of care and protection.

 As per Sub-section 3 of Section-8 of the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, the Board shall direct the Probation Officer, or in case a Probation Officer is not available to the Child Welfare Officer or a social worker, to undertake a social investigation into the case and submit a social investigation report within a period of fifteen days from the date of first production of the child before the Board. The Committee on being satisfied through the inquiry that the child is in need of care and protection, may, on consideration of Social Investigation Report submitted by Child Welfare Officer and taking into account the child’s wishes in case the child is sufficiently mature to take a view, pass the orders.

With the support of the SIR the committee gives the declaration that a child is in need of care and protection,  restoration of the child to parents or guardian or family with the supervision of Child Welfare Officer or designated social worker, placement of the child in Children’s Home or fit facility for the purpose of foster care/group foster care and any other family-based care for long term or temporary care, keeping in mind that the capacity of the institution for housing such children, either after reaching the conclusion that the family is the best interest of the child. The committee considers the placement based on the SIR for the fit person for long term or temporary care, directions to persons or institutions or facilities in whose care the child is placed, regarding care, protection and rehabilitation of the child, including directions relating to immediate shelter and services such as medical attention, and psychological support including need-based counseling, occupational therapy or behavior modification therapy, skill training, legal aid, educational services, and other developmental activities, as required, as well as follow-up and coordination with the District Child Protection Unit or State Government and other agencies

Process followed

  • So far the SIR is concerned, the CWC is to make a preliminary inquiry from the child or from the individual/ agency producing the child regarding the place and the circumstances under which the child was found/ contacted and the whereabouts of the family. Completing the Social Investigation report within 15 days from the day child was produced before the CWC.
  • CWC orders for speedy social investigation of the child’s family and circumstances to ascertain if it is safe for the child to be with the family.
  • CWC also assigned a CBO/ NGO the task of providing appropriate care, protection and rehabilitation of the child, if the child will be safe with the family.
  • The inquiry starts through interviews with the child, parent or guardian and by gathering relevant information from other sources such as the Child‟s School, workplace, neighborhood, etc. The assigned person does inquiry to find out details of the antecedents and family background of a child, and any other material circumstances that will assist the Board in arriving at a fair outcome. The following components are prioritized like the Family history, Antecedents of the child, mental and physical health, Expert opinions, Analysis and recommendations along with a comprehensive action Plan

Key Strategies

The SIR is intended as a means to present the circumstances of children’s lives in order to understand the specific rehabilitative need of that child, and also to provide the mitigating circumstances in which occurred. These responses indicate that this is in fact the tenor of the child’s interaction.

We are focusing the interview with the family members through specific tools and format add on form 22 of JJ act Rule 19(8), conducted the FGD taking the specific tools and technique with the other stakeholders like Teacher, AWW, VCPC, and existing PRI representatives of the concerned village and reported to the DCPU and CWC.