India’s first ever International Care Leavers Convention

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Category: Blog

By Aneesha Wadhwa, Executive Director, Udayan Care India and Chevening Fellow, Dept of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford.

The International Care Leavers Convention in India 2020 is a path breaking, first of its kind in the country. Being organized by Udayan Care, SOS Children’s Villages, and University of Hildesheim in collaboration with the Amity University, the Convention aims to provide Care Leavers (young people who have left alternative care to return to families or transition to independent living) with a platform to learn, share and exchange their experiences, knowledge and challenges, as a first step to be able to amplify their voices. It is a unique opportunity to collectivize Care Leavers at the transnational level as the insight provided by these young leaders can effectively reform our care systems.  It aims to bring together representation from existing networks and care leavers from different parts of India and the world, especially in regions such as Europe, Africa and Asia.

Registrations (by 31 Jan 2020) : 

In August 2019, Udayan Care published a set of first of its kind seminal research reports on youth leaving care, based on research conducted in five states of India (Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Rajasthan), as well as an overall synthesis report. Supported by various State governments, UNICEF, Tata Trusts and other individual donors, the reports detail and very clearly present thorough analyses of the experiences of young people leaving care in India, illustrating it through an ideological framework called the ‘Sphere of Aftercare’.

The study is evidence of the fact that growing up in Childrens Homes in India has an adverse impact on Care Leavers’ education, skills and social stability and hence does not prepare them for transition into adulthood. It reinforces the fact that transitioning out of care leads to re-traumatization of youth, who have already faced the trauma and multiple adverse childhood experiences. Constraints exists in the form of deficits at the level of information, access, investments, skills, knowledge and training on transition planning, notably with female Care Leavers experiencing greater disadvantage.

Along with the law, policy and promising practices, the report also comprehensively charts the pathway for Care Leavers in India in the form of recommendations to various duty bearers at different levels.  As the national movement in India strengthens to keep children in families and reduce the reliance on institutional care, it is hoped that non-institutional family and community based Alternative Care options will expand and the demand for mechanisms on the ground will gain more momentum. This movement has to always keep in mind the needs of Care Leavers and address them in more robust manner, ensuring that the young Care Leavers can become resilient contributing citizens of the country and an asset to the juvenile justice system.

Further Information

Udayan Care

SOS Children’s Villages

University of Hildesheim

Email: Contact Aneesha

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