Udayan Care for over 25 years has been providing support to children in need of care and protection through its Udayan Ghar Programme and supporting the youth exiting from Udayan Ghars through its Aftercare Programme and Alumni network.
This experience gave rise a desire to support other children and youth who are living in other CCIs and Aftercare homes. But this required an in-depth study of the situation of youth exiting CCIs (Care Leavers) for evidence building. This led to the first of its kind study on Aftercare in India, “Beyond 18”, to understand the situation of Care Leavers in India and how they can be supported.
The Aftercare Outreach Programme (AOP) is a logical spin-off of the “Beyond 18” research study on Aftercare, conducted by Udayan Care with support from UNICEF, Tata Trusts and a host of partners.
AOP is designed to address the unaddressed issues in the transition phase, while a child is still in a Child Care Institution (CCI) and later, in Aftercare, based on the ‘Sphere of Aftercare’; a theoretical framework proposed in the research study, a framework that outlines 8 domains of support needed: Housing, Physical health, Independent living skills, Education and vocational skills, Social support and interpersonal skills, Emotional Wellbeing, Identity and legal awareness, financial independence and career.
The programme is currently being implemented in the State of Bihar, National Capital Territory of Delhi and is in pipeline for other states such as Gujrat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
AOP aims to create a robust Aftercare system in practice, primarily through evidence generation. It targets the children of the age ‘approaching 15 to 18’ who are living in the child care institutions, ’18 to 23’ age group living in Aftercare and 23 & beyond who are now living independently. Some key objectives of AOP are:
- Creating an enabling environment in CCIs and Aftercare homes through policy and advocacy work
- Creating evidence by practical work on transition planning and Aftercare through demonstration in pilot projects
- Building systems for Capacity building of functionaries and workshops, mentoring and handholding of children and youth
- Bringing Care Leavers together on common platforms
Facilitate and support Care Leavers in the eight domains of the ‘Sphere of Aftercare’ with focus on providing financial as well as handholding and mentoring support for educational and vocational skills attainment and set up a model on Aftercare to establish evidence of its positive impact in their lives. The programme will be an evidence generation model for successful transitions to society and communities.