I have a Masters' degree in social work. In addition to my degree, I have completed a six-month course on community based rehabilitation for people with disabilities. I really enjoy learning and have completed other online trainings over my career. These include the UN Guidelines on Alternative Care of Children and a care reform training, as well as courses on program management. I have worked for eight years with Catholic Relief Services in India, first joining as a project officer for an emergency response in the Indian state of Odisha. That is when I got interested in child protection. I have been working with Changing the Way We Care on children's protection and care for three years.
Our Interview With Practitioner
There are different things I do to build my own skills. I like to learn new things and feel all of us are always learning. One way I develop my skills is through mentoring - that is working with and learning from others in my organization and outside of my organization and even outside of India. I ask a lot of questions and read resources and tools from other contexts. I also develop my skills by working with families. I love to sit with parents and caregivers and children, themselves, and listen to them and learn about their perspectives. This is skill building for me.
One important thing learned from this work over the years is that mobilizing the district child protection systems to develop their own action plans for child protection and working slowly and steadily to get their ownership is so important - protecting children is in the law but we have learned how to negotiate with those who must implement and help them to put law to practice. This work with the government system has been a big learning process for me in terms of understanding how to develop such a framework for action and how to get buy from the local stakeholders.
The other learning which has been really important is around case management. We have learned so much about the role of case management and its importance around both reintegration and prevention - and its critical role to ensure quality and best interest of the child.
1. The project management resource pack from the Catholic Relief Services - this resources has really helped me to understand projects from concept through to monitoring
2. The CTWWC Virtual monitoring tools and guidances
3. Journey of Life, Tree of Life & Singing to the Lions curricula
Fundamentally, I do this work for the children. I want to see child wellbeing improved and I want to contribute to a better future by making sure children are having strong care and protection. My dream is always that the next generation can go a bit further than the generations before. We have to help children to evolve and lead us in a better world of harmony. I see myself when I was a child and I see my own child, my strength is that I see child protection within this lens and it gives me passion for the work.
The "best" depends on the family context, the protective factors and risks, and aligning approach individually looking at the strengths of the family. Approaches need to be meeting the family where they are with a focus on the strengths that we can identify. The approach of support should include seeing what services, people and supports, are around them and how we can pull them in to strengthen the family further. Monitoring is really important. We have to stay close to the family - and seeing how they are growing and changing, then adjusting our approaches to them.
Different families have different situations - we cannot just look at blanket approaches like parenting or cash for all families - we have to look at the particular family and the particular context and adjust our approach. Approaches should always consider the family unit as the core and assess them and monitor for where they are, where they want to be and how they might get there.
Where They Operate
Key Areas of Work
This guidance was developed to support case workers to conduct virtual monitoring of children and families within their caseload throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
This package of materials from Changing the Way We Care features guidance and tools for case management and virtual monitoring during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The series is designed for communities wishing to support children in need and their caregivers. It includes a facilitator training guide and community implementation guide, as well as guides on protecting children from trafficking and abuse.