Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.
Capacity Building Initiative
Acting on Links between Child Protection and Mental Health
Child protection and mental health are intricately connected. They constitute complementary areas of work within the broader social care domain.
Family systems have undergone changes as society moved from pre-industrial to modern times.. The changes have been apparent in the relationship between parents and child as well. The role of parents as primary caregivers have undergone changes and the child/children in families have been left to be nurtured/looked after by alternative caregivers. The links between the well being of a child, the role of caregivers and contemporary changes and their impacts, need to be understood in a particular context and in individual settings. Thus protecting a child from any harm is based on a multi-factorial framework.
Mental Health Foundation (MHF) is uniquely placed to support civil society organisations in designing and implementing such holistic interventions for vulnerable children across multiple settings.
Their caregivers – whether families or service providers in institutional settings – must be oriented accordingly. They too need support to cope with the demands made on them. Structural stress like poor housing, unemployment, social isolation, trapped in circumstances, threats to caregiver’s authority, values and self esteem –have enormous psychological impact on children and caregivers. Stress generated by the child- for eg., differently abled, unwanted, incontinent, difficult to discipline-often lead to the failure to protect children from harm.
We, at Mental Health Foundation, discuss interventional strategies, in partnership with caregivers, to cope with various such struggles.
Children who have suffered abuse and exploitation need support to deal with their trauma, regain self confidence and grow as healthy adults with vital life skills and employment potential. They must be able to access mandated services and entitlements. In fact, they are often unaware of their rights. Thus, they need multisectoral inputs in an integrated manner.Preventive and remedial measures, shaped by child protection and mental health, must also be prioritised for children who are at the risk of slipping out of the family/community safety nets.
Our Training Methodologies
- Tailor-made to meet organisational requirements and needs.
- Training needs assessment seen as a critical preliminary step.
- Extensive use of workshops that enable instruction with reflection.
- Utilise factsheets, hands-on exercises and other such methods to facilitate knowledge and skill building in a simple and effective manner.
Capacity Building Services for Civil Society Organisations
MHF works closely with civil society organisations in conducting customised training programmes covering various levels of functionaries in institutional, community and outreach settings. The inputs are shaped by learnings from our direct engagement with different sections of marginalised, abused or traumatised children and adolescents (including but not limited to - street and working children, children with substance abuse issues, survivors of trafficking and other forms of exploitation and children with disabilities).
Also, organisational vision, thrust areas, challenges and other contextual aspects constitute the key reference points in designing capacity building initiatives.
For frontline workers/those working directly with vulnerable children and adolescents:
- Recognising of handling Mental Health Problems
- Coping with trauma
- Life Skills
- Communicating with other key actors (dealing with communities, local self government bodies, law enforcing agencies)
- Care for care givers (stress and anger management, time and resource management)
For mid and senior level management:
- Human Resource management from a psychological perspective (assessment of mental health support needs of staff, staff retention, promoting leadership and team-work)
- We have conducted training programmes and workshops for various NGOs. The topics ranged from recognising and handling trauma in vulnerable children, basic awareness of what constitutes mental health, programmes on basic counselling skills, case management and developing a framework and a module around the concept, child protection and assessment of problem areas vis a vis child protection, how to manage stress amongst staff etc.
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