Prevention of Child Abandonment

According to UNICEF, India has 29.6 million orphan and abandoned children. In 2011, a study was conducted by SOS Children’s Villages of India, concluded that this number equals the 4% of India’s child population. However, in disconcerting figures provided by Childline India Foundation in 2017, of these 30 million children, there are only 470,000 children in institutionalised care. And out of these roughly half a million children, only a fraction finds their way into family care because adoption rates in India are extremely low. 

SOS Children’s Villages of India’s Family Strengthening Programme is designed to prevent children from losing parental care or from being abandoned.  This programme spans from 3-5 years in areas such as the urban slums and rural areas where the maximum number of families are drowned in the quagmire of poverty and their socio-economic status hampers their growth and development. The beneficiaries of this programme are vulnerable children belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families, children from ethnic groups such as tribal and the backward area regions, children having single parents.

We work with vulnerable families and communities to help them build their capacities in order to facilitate the holistic development of their children so that a child’s basic rights are protected for within their family environment. We work in the spirit of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and promote these rights through our flagship programmes. Our aim is primarily to reduce the number of children who are at a risk of loosing parental care.

Addressing family vulnerabilities for enhanced holistic child development

The reason for family breakdown or abandonment of children is often due to several factors such as: economic hardships, larger sized families to support, death of one or both parents, and unstable relations of the parents. SOS India believes that every child has the right to grow up in a loving family – preferably with one or both parents. But, sometimes due to various circumstances parents are not able to care for their children. This exposes children to multiple risk factors and makes them vulnerable to neglect, abuse, discrimination and exploitation, and child abandonment.

How SOS strengthens families for ensuring a better future for children

SOS Children’s Villages works to strengthen through its FSP is a preventive approach taken towards community development that covers over 17000 children at 32 locations across India. We strengthen vulnerable families and communities so they can adequately and sustainably care for their children.

Some of the ways in which we help the communities build strong:

Provide access to essential care services such as education, health and nutrition services for the children by supporting school fees, provision of books and stationaries, tuition support, providing basic nutrition care along with making the existing health care services in the community more accessible to them

Building capacities of the caregivers by equipping them with appropriate parenting skills and family counselling to resolve issues, and household management skills

Support caregivers in enhancing their livelihoods through Self Help Groups (SHGs) mechanism created with the caregivers in order to ensure financial stability. SHGs are micro credit units which promote savings and inter-loaning at very low interest rates to their members

While we at SOS Children’s Villages of India are doing our bit, we urge you to come forward and support our Family Strengthening programme so that we can prevent child abandonment.