Mental audit of kids in shelter homes

The West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights (WBCPCR), in a unique initiative, has decided to conduct mental audit of about 2,000 children lodged in state-run shelter homes for children.

The survey to understand the mental condition of the inmates will be conducted in all the 16 shelter homes in West Bengal.

Speaking to DH, WBCPCR chairperson Ananya Chakraborty said that the main aim of the initiative is to find out whether these children are suffering from any kind of psychological problems such as depression.

“Unlike children living with their parents and families, the inmates of these shelter homes have no one to find out whether they are suffering from depression. Our aim is to find out whether any of them is having psychological issues and, if they do, to resolve it,” said Chakraborty.

She also said that WBCPCR officials will start visiting the shelter homes for the mental audit within a couple of months.

According to WBCPCR officials, several children in such homes are survivors of human trafficking. There are also some children, who despite having families, end up in such homes due to social and familial issues.

Trafficking survivors

They also said that during the survey, one key objective will be to find out the mental condition of child survivors of human trafficking.

“If any of the inmates is found to be suffering from psychological issues, then proper counselling and expert medical advice will be provided to them,” said a WBCPCR official.

He also said that in such shelter homes, it is not possible for the authorities concerned to know the mental condition of individual inmates due to infrastructure shortcomings.

The child rights body is also planning to conduct a similar survey with juvenile offenders to ensure that they merge with mainstream society without any hurdles.

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