The enactment of new legislations and policies and establishment of proper implementation agencies are considered the fundamental elements of modernisation. Likewise, in India, the child welfare sector is witnessing a paradigm shift after the implementation of juvenile justice acts and the establishment of Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS). The policy documents suggest that institutionalisation of a child must be the last resort; hence, the ideal situation is deinstitutionalising children from institutions to other care facilities. Childcare staff have to intervene effectively with the stakeholders to find out a more suitable option than institutionalisation. This process demands professionals with proper skills and a scientific understanding of the multifaceted issues of vulnerable children. The process would yield the desired benefits only under this circumstance. Thus, the role of childcare staff is crucial in the deinstitutionalisation process.
In this study on childcare staff in children’s homes of Kasaragod district of Kerala, the researcher adopted a descriptive design and selected all registered children’s homes for the study purpose. The data was collected from childcare staff through an interview schedule and Kuppuswami’s socio-economic scale.
The major finding of the study is that the childcare staff in these institutions are not meeting the prescribed standards envisioned by the government. This under-skilled and non-professional workforce needs a transformation to achieve the desired output.