We are Robert Raskin and Kathey Raskin, and we are committed to raising awareness of child protection issues not only here in this country, but also worldwide, because children everywhere deserve to be protected from government-sponsored corruption and abuse. In India, 300 of the 1,113 registered homes in Tamil Nadu are being shut down because they are not receiving sufficient funding under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme. This is over one-quarter of the homes that were available, leaving a huge number of children displaced by the system that is charged with their care.
What is the Integrated Child Protection Scheme
This proposal by the Indian Government’s Ministry of Women and Child Development was enacted to protect children while providing them with a safe environment in which they will be able to flourish and to develop. Many children in India are vulnerable to abuse and are thus at-risk through abandonment, exploitation, abuse, neglect, or separation from children. The scheme set out to institutionalize essential services, to create important databases, to strengthen protections at both the family and the government level, and to coordinate with institutions both governmental and private to ensure effective implementation.
How the Shutdowns Will Affect At-Risk Children
Prior to the recent shut-downs-the Tamil Nadu welfare department had already closed over 550 unregistered homes. The children who were rescued were sent to other homes that are registered, and many were returned to their parents, leaving their fates uncertain and potentially exposing them to the risk of further abuse. Many of the children who were in care did not have parents, or their parents cannot be located, which creates an extra level of difficulty where their next placements are concerned.
What Will Happen in the Future?
The commissioner of the welfare department wants to improve inspections and monitoring of these homes, including providing extra training for staff members. Educational and health facilities will also need extra supervision and monitoring to make sure the children are getting the tools they will need for improved future outcomes. Another task of the organization is to raise awareness of children’s rights, and she has suggested the government train organizations regarding these rights and legislation that will take place in 32 districts. Such an organized effort and a rapid response is admirable, and we, Robert Raskin and Kathey Raskin, wish our own government here at home would act this quickly to protect children here.