THE STATE Women and Child Development Department (WCD) will soon get a detailed report on nearly 500 observation homes that have failed to get a favourable report after an assessment conducted by a state government-appointed committee on as many as 994 homes.
The government, after the review, is likely to cancel the licenses and stop the grant given to these homes.
With an objective to address the complaints and fix the problems plaguing the observation homes, the state WCD, along with the revenue department officials, carried out a grading process for these homes based on their performance.
Highly-placed officials said that the effort is to keep a check on these homes. “The report submitted will play a crucial role in deciding whether these homes will face cancellation of licenses or not,” officials said.
“It is a first-of-a-kind initiative and the assessment has been carried out by giving out grades to homes based on facilities provided to the children and complaints related to atrocities registered against them. The homes have been given grades: A grade where it secures above 90 per cent, B grade where it secures above 80 per cent, C grade above 70 per cent and D grade where it secures below 70 per cent. From the actual count of children housed, food, cleanliness, electricity, drinking water, toilet facility, educational material, staff appointed with respect to number of children were all assessed by the three-member committee formed in every district constituting deputy collector, ZP official and WCD officials.
“The assessment carried out has put nearly 500 of these homes mainly in B, C and D category,” said officials, adding, “the squads visited the homes thrice so that the report can be foolproof. While it is learnt that there are over 400 homes in the A grade, the remaining fall in the B grade, C grade and D grade category.”
The inspections were carried out after a Government Resolution issued on July 13, directing the authorities to check observation homes for overall maintenance and ruled laid down by the Child Welfare Committee and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000. The grades have been given on the basis of parameters laid down by the WCD. In these 994 homes, there are nearly 80,000 children and every child gets Rs 1,250 as grant from the government.
Recently, there were several complaints filed related to children escaping from these homes to save themselves from atrocities faced by them, including molestation charges. The committee had decided to bring down grades for every such case. Last year, over 100 such homes faced cancellation of licenses for various reasons.