An Indian mother and daughter hug, laughing, while sitting on the step outside the wall of their house

Where we work India

We’ve been working in India since 2016. From 2017, together with our local partner CINI (Child in Need Institute), and in partnership with OAK Foundation, with support from Allen and Overy, we have demonstrated how to transform child protection systems, focusing on two targeted districts of Jharkhand State – Khunti and Ranchi.

Why we work in India

Children in Jharkhand State are at particular risk of violence and separation from their families. The UN has identified a significant threat of child trafficking. Not only this, but children face risks like child labour, rape and sexual assault, child marriage, and recruitment into armed groups due to the Naxalite-Maoist insurgency. Most victims of trafficking and exploitation are under 18, and are forced to work in households, brothels, restaurants and factories. When they escape or are rescued from these harmful situations they often end up in institutions.

If I am educated, I can do anything

Jacinta, 10, India

What we do – nationally

We work with the Indian government to strengthen India’s national approach to care reform. And we also help individual states develop strategies to reform their care systems. Through our partnership with UNICEF, we’ve held consultations in 9 states to help them develop care reform approaches. We’ve provided technical support to 687 government officials and CSOs representatives, and are taking a deep dive with 10 districts in Odisha, to support them with developing their district-level care reform strategic plans.

We influence key national stakeholders to commit to deinstitutionalisation and care reform, through initiatives like a learning trip for Indian Supreme Court judiciaries and UNICEF representatives to Romania. And we’re working with the India Alternative Care Network (IACN) to increase the national knowledge on care reform, to support IACN to build a stronger network amongst civil society organisations.

What we do – in Jharkand State

Through our partnership with CINI, a widely respected Indian NGO, we work across two districts in the Jharkhand State (Ranchi and Khunti) to

  • strengthen the formal and informal child protection mechanisms,
  • establish and support community services
  • link children and families to support schemes to prevent separation.

We’re working with two institutions directly, and another five through the district government, to ensure children are successfully reintegrated into their families and to help transform support services for those families. We’ve helped to slash the amount of time children spent in those institutions.

With extra support from OAK foundation, we have also been able to support communities with COVID specific relief services, in the form of community-based health desks. We have also supported the development of a tracking app for vulnerable children with increased risk of separation from their family due to the impact of COVID.

Our impact

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

Vulnerable children kept safe at home with their families

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

Children out of institutions and back in loving families

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

Professionals trained or given technical support

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

‘safe spaces’ established in Ranchi and Khunti, providing a range of community services

As well as the figures above, by the end of June 2021:

  • The average stay in Child Care Institutions (CCIs) was reduced from a stay of over 12 months to an average of 3-4 months
  • We provided over 24,000 people with a range of COVID19-related services such as providing emergency medical support, provided with COVID19 information and counselling and linked to health and other support services
  • We linked 52 children who lost a parent to COVID19 to support services and counselling, ensuring they remain in their families (parent or extended family members)
  • Through our partnership with UNICEF, we held consultations in 9 states to help them start developing care reform approaches. We have also provided technical support to 687 government officials and CSOs representatives.

Sonia's story

Sonia, 11, lives with her mother, baby brother and grandfather in Jharkhand State, northeast India. In May 2021, her father died from Covid, and her world turned upside down. Since her father was the sole breadwinner, the family were plunged into financial crisis. With schools closed, and her mother out looking for work, Sonia spent long periods alone. Unable to find a job, in desperation, Sonia's mum, Radha*, considered sending Sonia to an orphanage, so she would at least get three meals a day…

Read Sonia's story

Get in touch

If you’d like to talk to us about our work in India, please contact our central office on [email protected]