VISION: Our vision is of a nation that cares and protects its children in need of care and protection and ensures that each one is nurtured into a happy and contributing member of society. We act as catalysts to achieve this vision. We inspire and channelize action to bring about sustainable social change to have a brighter future for the children in institutional care.
MISSION & VALUES: India is home to approximately million children in need of care and protection, probably the highest in the world. Most of these children struggle to survive and very often end up being trafficked or pushed into child labour or illegal works. We often see them on the streets, begging, but there are many more that we do not see, they are equally vulnerable. It is the role of stakeholders like NGOs, Anganwadi workers, police and even society at large to identify children who are vulnerable and move them to either an adoption agency or a child care home.
Less than of vulnerable children – an estimated children in adoption agencies and live in Child Care Institutions across the country. Clearly many more vulnerable children at risk continue to be “outside the system”, probably because of the lack of awareness among society at large and the quality of institutional care. Awareness and sensitivity of the plight of children under institutional care and vulnerable children is the first area of social action for CSA.
Next, how well are we taking care of children that have reached a Child Care Institute? It is universally agreed that adoption is the best form of child rehabilitation, and every eligible child should be given the opportunity to have a loving and caring family. However many children who could be with a family are languishing in child care institutions. The number of adoptions could be doubled if all eligible children in child care institutions are moved to the adoption stream. This is the next area of social action for CSA.
Where adoption is not possible, the child should be brought-up in a well-run Child Care Institution. There are over Child Care Institutions in the country with an estimated Lakh children. They can become caring and nurturing child homes. These children are in a protected environment and therefore it should not be difficult to transform their lives in a very positive manner. Sadly, with few exceptions, the reality is different and in most cases the quality of child care and educational outcomes is poor. Transforming the condition of existing child care institutions creates a huge opportunity for social action. After the child turns years of age, he/she has to leave the institution and fend for themselves. They are not yet ready for independent living and a decent career. Thus, they continue to be in the cycle of poverty and deprivation. However, with some support and mentoring, children can be empowered to become happy and contributing members of society. This “last mile” is another crucial area where social change is required.
The government has a big role to play in the case of vulnerable children in institutional care. While the laws and schemes are in place, the implementation is poor. The result is lengthy adoption procedures, poor oversight of child care institutions, and wastage of government funds. Advocacy and working with the government is clearly an important action to create a scalable and sustainable social impact.