KAVAL

 

  • Rehabilitation of children in conflict withlaw ith support of NIMHANS
  • Coordinated by DCPUs
  • Pooling the support of credible NGOs

 

Children are the valuable resources of any country. A conducive environment is needed for their holistic growth and development. Children in various difficult circumstances are subjected to difficulties at Individual level such as poor academic performances, intellectual deficiencies, learning difficulties, poor health, developmental disorders, malnourishment, substance use including conduct and emotional problems and poor or mild cognitive development.  In Family children experience poverty, lack of parental care and affection, poor parenting, parental psychopathology, illness in family, overcrowding in the family. Social problems experienced by these children are high risk social environment, social isolation, discrimination, high risk antisocial gangs all these will affect the children. Problems children face at various levels are beyond their coping. This will induce multiple stressors among children wherein they adopt wrong ways of coping, which will be manifested as behaviour problems and ends up in the child coming in to conflict with law.

 Kerala has over 100 years of history in juvenile justice care with commencement of a home for the Children at Trivandrum by the rulers of erstwhile princely state of Travancore in 1894. In 1897 a Reformatory School Act was enacted in India. Enactment of the Children’s Act in Madras, Cochin and Travancore marked a new beginning in the field of the Juvenile Justice System Kerala.  Kerala Children’s Act was enacted in 1972 under the charge of the Prisons Department. In 1986 Government of India passed a Central Juvenile Justice Act. India ratified the UN Child Rights Convention in 1992; The Government of India came up with the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act 2000, which was amended in 2006 and in 2015. 

 KAVAL is an innovative program implemented by Government of Kerala through the Department of Women and Child Development with technical support from Dept. of Psychiatric Social Work, NIMHANS, Bengaluru. A systematic and structured methodology is developed in the state to support children in conflict with law there by reducing the potential danger of being labelled and isolated from society. This reduces the chances of the child being absorbed to antisocial gangs and causing potential harm to society. Identifying children at high risk at a young age and supporting them by providing holistic care through psychosocial intervention would help children to keep away from un-lawful activities.

 A multidisciplinary inter-sectoral approach through psychosocial intervention is needed to ensure holistic care and support for children. “Psychosocial programming comprises structured activities designed to advance the child’s psychological, social development and to strengthen protective factors that limits the effect of adverse influences (WHO 2011).”

 KAVAL is a community based approach to reach out to children in bail and providing psychosocial interventions through trained social work professionals in NGOs  by entering to a working partnership with the Non-Governmental organisations. The psychosocial care model was developed and implemented through a five tier approach comprising:

 

  1. Sensitization of stake holders
  2. Stake holders resource building through training of the trainers program
  3. Staff resource building through hand holding training
  4. Implementation of the program at individual, family school and community level
  5. Referral

 Multiple stake holders in the Juvenile Justice System such as Juvenile Justice Board, Special Juveile Police Unit, District Child Protection Unit ,Non Government Organisation , District Legal Service Authority, Education  Department, Mental health professionals and Child care institution are sensitized on the bio psychosocial problems and needs of the children in conflict with law . This is followed by a 15 days training of the multiple stake holders in juvenile justice system to build   skills  to identify the psychosocial problems among children and provide  interventions. Each child as he /she  comes in to the Juvenile Justice System undergoes a psychosocial assessment to identify their psychosocial problems,  followed by developing Individual Care Plan  by the observation home counsellor and legal cum probation officer with support from NGO, medical officers and  other professionals as per the need of the child. The cases of children will be transferred by JJB to NGO through District Child Protection Unit for psychosocial intervention. NGO as they receive the case start their intervention as per the ICP prepared and the emerging needs. The NGO reports and provide services for children in conflict with law  as per the guidelines from DCPU. Regular and systematic reporting is carried out on a daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. Monthly evaluation of KAVAL activities in the district is carried out by District Juvenile Justice Team consisting of JJB, SJPU, DCPO, LCPO, OH counsellor, Probation Officer and NGO staff. Quarterly meetings are conducted at SCPS to evaluate the district level activities and activities of NGOs.