Our pilot family based care partner in Madhya Pradesh started working on the complete transformation of care from institutionalization to family based/alternative care in March 2019 under our guidance. We were following the standard case management process to reintegrate children into families or place them in alternative care options as per our methodology. However, when COVID hit - the state government ordered all children to be immediately sent to families. The shelter home had to comply with the instructions of the government, which meant that some children were sent to families even when their case management process was incomplete. Miracle Foundation India rose to the situation and keeping in mind the safe transition of the children put together the tool for expedited case management (ECM). ECM was implemented to speed up the interventions and ensure a smooth transition of children while they were already in families in their native villages.
In the first quarter of this year, 19 children were reintegrated successfully. As these children were in the ECM process, their assessments were being conducted on a monthly basis using our proprietary Home Thrive Scale™ (HTS) tool.
Sharing highlights from the pilot project below-
- The cumulative results of HTS indicated that children and families were adapting well to the change, there were no red flags identified.
- Some of these families were supported with COVID relief funds during stringent lockdowns.
- 11 children were provided with internet enabled tablets to help them continue their education remotely. Rest of the children had one working device in the family which they were able to use for studies.
- Post aptitude tests and career counselling, the interest areas and inclination of the children was identified. Accordingly, they took admission in 10th, 11th, 12th, B.A., B.Com, Diploma in Physiotherapy etc in the city and started living in groups under our mentoring.
Along with studies, these young individuals are also learning how to live life independently. They are learning to cook, clean, help each other and become contributing members of the community. With the support of the Miracle Foundation, the children were able to set up accommodation with necessities like bedding, utensils, cots, nutritional support, partial rent support etc.
- Close mentoring and monitoring of the child and the families post re-integration
- Continuous Life Skills Education training and follow ups
- Dialogue on child participation, regular visits/telephonic follow ups.
- Progress tracking on Home Thrive Scale
- Connectivity was a hindering factor during mentoring few children. To resolve this, families were motivated to keep the mobile recharged all the time.
- Another challenge was uncertainty on the education front as there were no clear directions from the education department on re-opening of schools/colleges. Children took the lead in finding out the admission processes and started with remote learning and virtual classes.
The implementing team is maintaining regular follow ups with these children. Fortnightly telephonic follow ups are conducted, while monthly physical visits are in place for children in higher education. For the children settled in villages and other cities, quarterly visits and fortnightly telephonic follow ups are in place. Miracle Foundation India will continue to mentor and track the quality of re-integration for these children up to a time period of 36 months.
Senior Program Coordinator- North, Miracle Foundation India