Our Responsibility to Children (ORC) is an innovative initiative of Integrated Child protection Scheme (ICPS), Kerala, under the Department of Women and Child Development. ORC identifies and scientifically addresses deviancies and other vulnerabilities of children and integrates them to the social mainstream through enhancing life skills, nurturing strengths, addressing risks, and promoting mentoring and good parenting.
ORC was launched by Sri. P.Vijayan IPS, IG of Police, as an experimental attempt in Kozhikode City against the background of increasing instances of deviant behaviour among youth. Inspired by the success of the pilot phase, Government of Kerala integrated the project to its Integrated Child Protection Scheme, as a school oriented initiative with a pre-emptive dimension, to ensure care and protection to children facing various behavioural, emotional, learning, social and other mental health issues. The project is currently operational in 304 selected Government/Aided schools all across the state.
It’s a fact that children are the most vulnerable sections of any society, especially those in societies undergoing rapid social and economic transformations.
Usually, problems faced by our children not only go acknowledged, but are often unattended. Even if identified they are often unreported or unattended. In some cases they are attended very unscientifically, causing a damaging effect. The present process of handling young offenders also needs a scientific re-visit as isolating young offenders from social mainstream may only serve to enhance the negative tendencies within.
Purpose of the initiative:
- Identification and management of behavioral, emotional, learning, social and mental health issues of children in a scientific manner , conducive to our settings
- Build capacity of teachers and parents to better deal with the problems of children to ensure care and protection of at risk children
- Ensure mentoring to children with behavioral and emotional issues especially those coming from disadvantaged social setting
- Impart life skills to children , those who face various psycho-social challenges
- Create an invisible wall of protection around school to ensure care and protection of children especially when they spend their time around the vicinity of the school
- Demonstrate a problem oriented, solution focused partnership initiative which is callable across India
The program has so far reached to 3, 39,828 children, 15,941 teachers, 631 ORC nodal teachers, 186 school counsellors and 3,639 parents. ORC trained 353 selected personnel to set-up district level trainers panel to support the various capacity development programs. And ORC,
- Trained 12,317 teachers in identification and management of common bio-psycho– social issues and developed 912 core team members consisting of nodal teachers and school counselors.
- Organized 193 life skills camps attended by 7, 720 students.
- Ensured class room level care and attention for 98,534 children facing mild behavioral/emotional/learning/ social issues
- Ensured school level individualized attention for 44,407 children facing moderate level issues.
- Ensured expert care for 1,023 children identified with severe behavioral/emotional/learning/ social issues with the support of experts and institutions mapped by ORC at the district level.
An intermediate participatory study was conducted by the project through questionnaires and Focus Group Discussion with children and their parents.
- The study reported a number of positive impacts on children who have been a part of the program. Children reported that they were highly energized by participating in the SMART 40programs. They developed a positive attitude towards Parents, teachers and Friends, developed disciplined use of mobile phone, better self-respect and increased determination to achieve goals.
- More than 90 % of the teachers reported that through the ORC interventions they were able to better coordinate with children, school community and parents in issues related to the wellbeing of children. 92% of the teachers agreed that there was a perceptible change of attitude after participation in ORC Program. All most all teachers reported that ORC better equipped them to deal with the emotional, behavioral and social issues of children.
- The parents also commented on the positive changes in their children. Some of the comments were as follows,
Innovative aspects of the project:
- Facilitates a creative collaboration between parents , teachers, children, civil society and all agencies responsible for the care and protection of children
- Creates an invisible wall of care and protection around every child through the formation of School Protection Groups
- Demonstrates a solution focused partnership model through the collective synergy of Departments of Women and Child Development, Police, Education, Health, Local Self Government and Civil Society.
- A successfully evolved scientific intervention strategy to address the behavioural, emotional, learning, mental health and social issues of children, conducive to Indian setting.
- Ensures effective gender equality and sensitization through training, and by facilitating equal performance opportunities for both boys & girls cadets.
- Pre-empts development of unhealthy behavioral, emotional and social deviations among children, and instills positive values in youth at an age when they are most susceptible to develop bad habits
- Results-Focused implementation and monitoring
- Efficient and Lean Administration
- A well maintained and informative website : www.orcindia.org