Sep 15, 2020

residential homes update

Introduction-

Salaam Baalak Trust’s residential centres are 24*7 programmes which provide shelter (long- term and/ or short-term) and a package of childcare services based on continuum of care approachtochildrenrescuedfromthestreets.Theseservicesincludemedicalcare,foodand nutrition (three hot cooked meals and evening nutrition), psychological support, education, vocational training, job placement, restoration and rehabilitation. The centres also provide sports and latent talent development opportunities for all round development of children. These residential centres are recognized and licensed under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme(ICPS)andtheJuvenileJusticeAct,2015.Theadmissionandcareplanofeachchildis made under the guidance of respective Child Welfare Committees(CWCs).

 

SBT Residential Centres

SBT has 7 residential centres for children from street and vulnerable situations. The centres have the basic infrastructure –classrooms, play area, computer lab and dormitories. Each centre has a team of trained and compassionate caregivers who work towards the holistic development of the children residing in these homes.

 

Brief overview of the centres-

Aasra

Boys

Aasra was the first shelter home started by SBT. With a capacity of 50 it caters to boys of five to 18 years. It is an inclusive set up where children with disabilities  and typically developing children reside together.

Apna Ghar

Boys

It is a short stay centre, where 40 children come and stay for short duration and then they are either restored or transferred  in a long

stay home. The home was set under the JJ Act, 2000.

DMRC

Boys

DMRCChildren’sHomewasestablishedaspartofDelhiMetro Rail  Corporation’s  corporate   social  responsibility.  The  home

houses 125 boys from the age of five to below 18 years.

Old Delhi Railway Station (ODRS) Open Shelter

Boys

ODRS open shelter is an open centre catering to 30 boys. It is a short stay centre, where children come stay short duration and then they areeitherrestoredorpostedinalongstayhome.Thehomewas

set under the JJ Act, 2000.

Arushi

Girls

Arushi was first girls’ shelter home under SBT. It is an initiative to offer 24 hour shelter to 50 girls between the ages of five years to18 years living on the streets.

Udaan

Girls

Udaan was started in the year 2010. It started with eight girls and currently shelters 80 girls at a time.

 

 

 

Key Activities and Progress Update-

 

Residential Care

 A safe space is the most critical need for any child to realise his/her own full potential. Thus, we started residential programmes to provide safe child friendly shelter for children rescued from street situations and any other distress situations. Children residing in these homes have a sense of belonging and call it their own home.

 

 

 Nutrition

To meet the nutritional needs of children, nutritionally-balanced and hot-cooked meals are served at residential . The meals are prepared in the kitchen space provided at the centre under the supervision of staff members to ensure safe and hygienic practices. In some cases, children have special nutritional requirements due to illness such as tuberculosis and malnutrition. Such children are provided with special nutrition including protein supplements, additional servings of fruits and milk as prescribed by the doctor.

 

 

Education

Education is integral to any child’s development and hence all the children residing in the homes are connected with education either through formal, non-formal or Open school of learning depending on the strength of the child. Each centre has an in-house teacher who helps the children with their home work and also teaches the children who are studying through open learning.

 

 

 

Medical Care

Children on the streets live in unsanitary conditions and are prone to various infections and diseases. Therefore, regular medical check-ups of the children are done at the full care residential centres. Individual health cards are maintained for each child. Whenever required, pathological tests are conducted as per the recommendation of the doctors. We have a full-time doctor employed with SBT solely for this purpose. Apart from that we also invite external doctors or get our children treated by specialists at hospitals.

 

Mental Health-

Full-timementalhealthprofessionalappointedin thecentreprovidespsychologicalsupportandcounsellingtochildren.Thementalhealthand psychologicalsupporthelpschildrenrescuedfromthestreetsgetovertheirtraumaticpast. There is a team of 9 psychologists with a senior Psychiatrist who work towards the management plan of children having psychological difficulties.

 

Vocational Training and Job Placement -

Children who are above 16 and/or have completed Class10arelinkedtoawiderangeofvocationaltrainingcourses.Acareercounsellormatches children’sskillsetsandinterestwithsuitablecourses.Basedoncounsellor’srecommendation children join vocational courses of their choice. Children at SBT centres often opt for computer, travel and tourism, fashion designing, beauty culture and hotel management courses. Upon completion of their vocational training courses children are also assisted in finding gainful employment. The centre teams help children in applying forjobs.

 

 

Restoration and Rehabilitation: Those children who are missing or run away from their homes often long for their families. The centre teams in conjunction with the CHILDLINE and police make efforts to find homes and families of these children and reunite them with their parents .

 

For those children who live in the residential centres till they turn 18, a proper rehabilitation plan is drawn. These young adults are not only linked to jobs butarealsosupportedinfindinganewaccommodationandareprovidedbasicnecessitiesto start a life such as bedding utensils and financial assistance for buying groceries and pay rent for up to three months. Rehabilitation is SBT’s carefully planned attempt to reintegrate the children back into societies as productive adults and responsiblecitizens.

 

A snapshot of services provided by the residential centres from January – June 2020 has been presented in the Table below.

 

 

Activities

Number of Children

Shelter Provided

819 children

Restoration

370 children

Education (Formal Schooling)

150 children

Open Schooling

28 children

Non-Formal Education

529 children

Food and Nutrition

809 children

Health Check Up

761 children

Skill Development and Vocational Training

25 children

Job Placement

12 children

Rehabilitation

08 children

 

 

Challenges

  • Due to the Pandemic, there are limited opportunities for children to be constructively engaged There was a surge in mental health concerns of children and staff since the movement and the daily routine has been disturbed.

 

  • Initially, only few staff members could come to work and this led to classes being irregular. Younger children are particularly being affected due to the lockdowns as its difficult for them to comprehend the scenario.

 

 

 

Achievements-

  • Due to the pandemic, many communities were affected and were without food and basic amenities. Our outreach workers helped over 10,000 families with ration and hygiene kits.

 

  •  We were also successful in finding jobs for 11 of our alumni’s who lost their jobs due to the current scenario . Alumni’s are being provided emotional and financial support where needed.
  • 9 children from S.BT. have cleared their 10th exams with First Division.
  • 3 children cleared their 12th class exams. Two of them got more than 90 percent in the best of 4.

 

 

Future Plan:

  • The effort is to keep all the children in the homes safe during the pandemic and at the same time to work towards their physical and mental health.
  • SBT is also working to upgrade the digital infrastructure at each home so that the children don’t miss out on the academic front.
  • Mental health team is working proactively with both the children and the staff and will increase the number of life skill sessions.

 

Story of change -

Sana (Name changed) belongs to Delhi and came to S.B.T. when she was 8 years old. Her mother had a tumultuous history of personal relationships and violence and her father had abandoned the family. The mother had no means to support her children and so she put them in our children home.

During initial phases of her stay in the children home, Sana had a tough time adjusting with other children. She often became anxious, angry, had mood swings and did not get along well with others. The team handledherwithcompassionandlove and worked on her strengths. She started doing well in academics and was quite sincere and her caliber was noticed.

She soon got a sponsor to support her education at The Lawrence School,Sanawar. This year she completed her 12th boards with 96 percent. She aspires to be a lawyer and is working hard to get through the top institutes of India.


Attachments:
Sep 8, 2020

general news - girls home and the boys homes

Introduction-

Salaam Baalak Trust’s residential centres are 24*7 programmes which provide shelter (long- term and/ or short-term) and a package of childcare services based on continuum of care approachtochildrenrescuedfromthestreets.Theseservicesincludemedicalcare,foodand nutrition (three hot cooked meals and evening nutrition), psychological support, education, vocational training, job placement, restoration and rehabilitation. The centres also provide sports and latent talent development opportunities for all round development of children. These residential centres are recognized and licensed under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme(ICPS)andtheJuvenileJusticeAct,2015.Theadmissionandcareplanofeachchildis made under the guidance of respective Child Welfare Committees(CWCs).

 SBT Residential Centres

SBT has 7 residential centres for children from street and vulnerable situations. The centres have the basic infrastructure –classrooms, play area, computer lab and dormitories. Each centre has a team of trained and compassionate caregivers who work towards the holistic development of the children residing in these homes.

 

Brief overview of the centres-

Centre

Catering to Boys or

Girls

Brief Overview

Aasra

Boys

Aasra was the first shelter home started by SBT. With a capacity of 50 it caters to boys of five to 18 years. It is an inclusive set up where children with disabilities and typically developing children reside together.

Apna Ghar

Boys

Itis a short stay centre, where 40 children come and stay for short duration and then they are either restored or transferred  in a long

stay home. The home was set under the JJ Act, 2000.

DMRC

Boys

DMRC Children’s Home was established as part of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s corporate   social responsibility.  The home

houses 125 boys from the age of five to below 18 years.

Old Delhi Railway Station (ODRS) Open Shelter

Boys

ODRS open shelter is an open centre catering to 30 boys. It is a short stay centre, where children come stay short duration and then they areeitherrestoredorpostedinalongstayhome.Thehomewas

set under the JJ Act, 2000.

Arushi

Girls

Arushi was first girls’ shelter home under SBT. It is an initiative to offer 24 hour shelter to 50 girls between the ages of five years to18 years living on the streets.

Udaan

Girls

Udaan was started in the year 2010. It started with eight girls and currently shelters 80 girls at a time.

 

Key Activities and Progress Update-

 

Residential Care

 A safe space is the most critical need for any child to realise his/her own full potential. Thus, we started residential programmes to provide safe child friendly shelter for children rescued from street situations and any other distress situations.Children residing in these homes have a sense of belonging and call it their own home.

 Nutrition

To meet the nutritional needs of children, nutritionally-balanced and hot-cooked meals are served at residential. The meals are prepared in the kitchen space provided at the centre under the supervision of staff members to ensure safe and hygienic practices. In some cases, children have special nutritional requirements due to illness such as tuberculosis and malnutrition. Such children are provided with special nutrition including protein supplements, additional servings of fruits and milk as prescribed by the doctor.

 Education

Education is integral to any child’s development and hence all the children residing in the homes are connected with education either through formal, non-formal or open school of learning depending on the strength of the child. Each centre has an in-house teacher who helps the children with their home work and also teaches the children who are studying through open learning.

 Medical Care

Children on the streets live in unsanitary conditions and are prone to various infections and diseases. Therefore, regular medical check-ups of the children are done at the full care residential centres. Individual health cards are maintained for each child. Whenever required, pathological tests are conducted as per the recommendation of the doctors. We have a full-time doctor employed with SBT solely for this purpose. Apart from that we also invite external doctors or get our children treated by specialists at hospitals.

 Mental Health-

 Full-time mental health professionals appointed in the centre provides psychological support and counseling to children. The mental health and psychological support helps children rescued from the streets get over their traumatic past. There are a team of 9 psychologists with a senior Psychiatrist who work towards the management plan of children having psychological difficulties.

 Vocational Training and Job Placement -

Children who are above 16 and/or have completed Class10 are linked to a wide range of vocational training courses. A career counselor matches children’s skill sets and interest with suitable courses. Based on counselor’s recommendation children join vocational courses of their choice. Children at SBT centres often opt for computer, travel and tourism, fashion designing, beauty culture and hotel management courses. Upon completion of their vocational training courses children are also assisted in finding gainful employment. The centre teams help children in applying forjobs.

 

 Restoration and Rehabilitation: Those children who are missing or run away from their homes often long for their families. The centre teams in conjunction with the CHILDLINE and police make efforts to find homes and families of these children and reunite them with their parents.

 

For those children who live in the residential centres till they turn 18, a proper rehabilitation plan is drawn. These young adults are not only linked to jobs butarealsosupportedinfindinganewaccommodationandareprovidedbasicnecessitiesto start a life such as bedding utensils and financial assistance for buying groceries and pay rent for up to three months. Rehabilitation is SBT’s carefully planned attempt to reintegrate the children back into societies as productive adults and responsiblecitizens.

 

A snapshot of services provided by the residential centres from January – June 2020 has been presented in the Table below.

 Activities

Number of Children

Shelter Provided

809 children

Restoration

370 children

Education (Formal Schooling)

150 children

Open Schooling

28 children

Non-Formal Education

524 children

Food and Nutrition

809 children

Health Check Up

761 children

Skill Development and Vocational Training

25 children

Job Placement

11 children

Rehabilitation

05 children

 

Challenges

Due to the Pandemic, there are limited opportunities for children to be constructively engaged There was a surge in mental health concerns of children and staff since the movement and the daily routine has been disturbed.

 

Initially, only few staff members could come to work and this led to classes being irregular. Younger children are particularly being affected due to the lockdowns as its difficult for them to comprehend the scenario.

 

Future Plan:

The effort is to keep all the children in the homes safe during the pandemic and at the same time to work towards their physical and mental health.

 

SBT is also working to upgrade the digital infrastructure at each home so that the children don’t miss out on the academic front.

 

Mental health team is working proactively with both the children and the staff and has increased the number of life skill sessions.


Attachments:
May 18, 2020

Our child development Unit programme

Introduction and Background
Salaam Baalak Trust (SBT) has been working to protect the rights of children living in difficult circumstances for more than three decades. Placing the child’s interest first, SBT strives to provide a package of all-inclusive and quality services to children rescued from streets. These services comprise health, education, nutrition and vocational training. Given the hostile circumstances in which these children live, they often experience psychological trauma and violence which leaves them emotionally frail. Thus, mental health programme forms the pivot of SBT’s care and protection services. Running successfully for more than 18 years, SBT’s mental health programme is solely driven to help rescued children overcome their traumatic past and enable them live freely and happily in their present.
To set children on a path of holistic development, it is extremely critical to help them constructively get over the abuse, exploitation and trauma they face on streets and difficult circumstances. This transformation requires patience, perseverance, sensitivity and specialised skills to engage with children and help them express their suppressed pain and negative emotions and experience. To deliver these specialised services, SBT’s qualified and highly skilled mental health team works passionately and dedicatedly. The team under the leadership of Dr. Amit Sen (one of the leading psychiatrists in India) comprises a mental health coordinator and a team of trained counsellors. A counselor is posted at every centre of SBT to provide mental health services to children viz., counseling and individual and group therapies. SBT’s mental health programme is recognised as one of its kind given its child-centric nature and focus on professional and trained care.
The programme is continuously evolving to meet the ever changing needs of children in general and those rescued from difficult circumstances in particular. Laying thrust on equality, the mental health programme began providing services for inclusion of children with disabilities who are rescued from difficult circumstances. These children are extremely marginalised and highly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. Thus, they face the double brunt of living in perilous situations and inability to raise their voice against violence and abuse being meted out to them. To this end, in the year 2015 the mental health programme expanded its scope by initiating Child Development Unit (CDU) to cater to the needs of children with neuro-developmental difficulties.The CDU is based at Aasra Children’s Home located in Najafgarh, Delhi. It adopts an integrative approach whereby the children (boys) with neurodevelopmental difficulties and in need of additional support are provided shelter along with care and protection services.

Key Objectives of CDU
CDU’s vision is to provide children with neuro-developmental difficulties a safe, nurturing environment. It also aims to protect these children from abuse and ensure early screening of their difficulties and provide timely intervention. CDU further attempts to provide 24x7 special care and emotional support to these children. The Unit operates on the ‘principle of equality and inclusion’ wherein children with mental disabilities live with typically developing children (those meeting age-appropriate development milestones) to foster peer interaction and learning. The key objectives of CDU are as follows.
1. To mainstream children with neuro-developmental difficulties and disorders by provision of inclusive services in Aasra Children’s Home.
2. To enable these children, learn basic activities of daily living (ADL) and communication skills to express and deal with their individual needs.
Target Group
As indicated earlier, CDU caters to children with mild intellectual difficulties and other neuro-developmental difficulties. Due to limited resources, the CDU houses maximum of 10 boys below 13 years at any given point of time.
Key Activities and Processes
CDU Team: CDU team includes skilled developmental therapist, supervisor and three caretakers. The supervisor oversees the administrative work, while the therapist conducts a wide range of therapeutic sessions with the children and the care takers provide food and nutrition, health and other services to children. The CDU team specifically caretakers are trained at regular intervals to improve their work performance and efficiency.
Screening and Early Diagnosis: All children coming to Aasra Children’s Home are screened using a baseline assessment interview at the first point of contact and if mental health concerns are observed then a more comprehensive assessment is conducted. This assessment is carefully done by the counselor. This assessment is critical for early diagnosis and screening of children with neuro-developmental difficulties. Following this, a focused discussion is conducted with the psychiatrist to confirm the diagnosis and ascertain if the child matches the CDU admission criteria. Upon meeting the criteria, the child is admitted to the CDU.
Provision of Holistic Services: The key services provided to children enrolled in at the CDU for their holistic development are as follows.
Therapies: Most of the children at CDU need various therapies such as sensory integration, occupational therapy and speech therapy. These therapies are provided to the children through a well-known psychiatric organisation called Children First. SBT is making efforts to provide this service in-house by constituting an inter-disciplinary team. Steps are being taken to build the team’s capacities to deliver various kinds of therapies. Apart from the specialised therapies, regular therapeutic sessions are also conducted by the therapist.
Education: Pliable educational services are provided to children keeping in mind their existing knowledge, skills and intellectual capacities. Individual education plan is prepared for each child and adhered to. Play-way and joyful methods of teaching and learning are used. Each child is given individual attention to engage them in a meaningful learning process. The CDU childrenalso being provided special education.
Special care and emotional support: A number of services are provided to children by care takers and therapist on a continued basis. Caution is taken to meet children’s emotional needs adequately so that they adjust well in the Children’s Home. These children are under constant care and supervision.
Pharmacology: Many children who need medicines are provided the same as prescribed by the psychiatrist. Medicines along with therapies show tangible improvements in children within a short span of time.
ADL (Activity of daily Living) skills training: This is an important area of intervention with children. The therapist and care takers help children learn ADL skills to make the more self-reliant. While training when children pick up ADL skills, they feel a sense of confidence and independence and show improvement in many aspects of their life.
Occupational therapy: Children are provided occupational therapy at both Children First and Aasra. The therapy helps them actively participate in activities at children’s home and other social situations. It also instills a sense of independence among children and prepares them for learning other skills.
Speech therapy: To support children with speech impairment, speech therapy is also provided. This improves children’s communication skills. Various techniques are used to enhance their communication in a conventional way. Through speech therapy children learn to express themselves well.Key Challenges
Uncertainties and restrictions due to COVID-19: The global outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in many restrictions and unprecedented changes on the lives of people. In these uncertain times, people across the world are grappling with mental health concerns. One of the worst affected groups include children and youth. The same is true for children with disabilities. They are experiencing the negative effects of lockdown as schools and therapy centres are closed. The children are confined to the CDU which has a huge impact on the education and learning needs of children with disabilities. While social distancing has been widely promoted as a key strategy to avoid transmission, but the same is not possible to strictly adhere for care takers for children with special needs who often require assistance for their daily tasks. In addition, while children may not be at a high risk of contracting COVID-19 those with disability may fall into the category of “high risk“ due to their pre-existing health conditions. During this pandemic, the centre psychologist (CDU Therapist) is also not able to visit centre to avoid transmission regularly. However, to stay connected and the centre psychologist is in regular touch with care giver and children.
Other challenges: Apart from above, the other challenges beingfaced by CDU include,
• Rehabilitation of CDU children is a big challenge as some of them are going to turn 16 soon.
• Lack of multidisciplinary team to meet the special needs of the children in context to different areas of development
• High attrition rate of CDU therapist
Stories of Change
D*15 years old came to the CDU two years ago from some other children’s home. The child was diagnosed with learning and intellectual disability. At that time the child was less active and was lacking social skills. While D was capable of self-care but was unable to express himself or needs. He had limited desire to engage socially or participate in social interaction and remain aloof. His speech abilities were present but he had limited vocabulary. The CDU team helped D to acclimatize to the environment of Aasra Home. D was then enrolled in Holy Heart Special School for his academic and intellectual development. He was simultaneously provided regular therapy sessions, special care and emotional support by the caretakers. These multifaceted efforts resulted in visible improvements in D. For instance D has now, started to speak with verbal prompts and his vocabulary has expanded. He also takes part in all activities of the Home with interest and enjoys all the group activities. It has been observed that with support of care taker now D also helps CDU team in daily activities of the Home. His cognitive functioning has also improved. The team now plans to continue these activities so that they can become more self-reliant and confident.

 
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