Institutional Child Care Homes: Identifying the Ailments and Rethinking Reforms

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Mrs Annapurna Pattnaik, Prof. Navaneeta Rath


This research explores the vital factors that prevent institutional child care homes from ensuring optimal wellbeing to the children, from becoming development friendly for the children and a real alternate to family system in India. Child care homes are socially and legally constructed rather instituted. They are designed not only to provide a roof to the destitute children, but are expected to contribute significantly for their personality and overall development in the absence of a biological family. Very often institutional care homes are criticised for their failure to provide adequate care and support to the children. In this context, the present study aims to unravel the challenges faced by institutional care system which prevent them from performing their core functions and becoming delivering in character. The study is conducted by the authors in five care homes in the state of Odisha, a state in the eastern province of India. Three care homes are government sponsored while two care homes are managed by private trusts. The researchers have used personal interaction and have administered a semi structured interview schedule to collect the information from the five studied care homes. A tripartite objective has guided the study i.e. to probe into the objectives, organisation and operational strategy. The paper notes that institutional child care homes till date though adhere to some common objectives and organisational structure, fail to have a standardised operational strategy which is basically due to the financial crunch and poor financial management and priority fixation. So, the paper recommends the development and administration of a common guidelines to manage the care homes’ functioning, to keep a surveillance on their capital use and their goal setting and goal attainment.

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