Save the Children Bhutan CO is supporting National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC) and Nazhoen Lamtoen a CSO to Strengthen Child Protection and Response Services for Most Deprived Children (CPRS) in Bhutan.
The project is committed to protecting children from abuse, neglect, and other forms of violence, through a systems approach by strengthening the protective environment for children. The Steps to Protect Case Management approach which is being piloted in five districts benefitted 145 children (70 boys and 75 girls) in partnership with CSO Nazhoen Lamtoen to ensure most deprived children have access to effective protection and reintegration services. The approach focuses on the needs of an individual child and their family, ensuring that concerns are addressed systematically in consideration of the best interests of the child and building upon the child and family’s natural resilience. It is done in accordance with the established case management process, involving children’s meaningful participation and family empowerment throughout. Some of the guiding principles of Case management support being implemented in the field ensures minimum standards are in place keeping in mind the best interest of the child, nondiscrimination, ethical standards, informed consent, confidentiality, accountability, family empowerment, meaningful child participation, knowledge of child development, knowledge of child protection, knowledge of child rights, coordination, child friendly approaches and child centered approaches.
Through our Child Protection program, we are currently providing support to 14 children who are benefitting from the reintegration program provided through the shelter home in partnership with the local CSO, Nazhoen Lamtoen. “Children’s Halfway Home” caters to children who are at risk of abuse, neglect and other adversities hence providing immediate shelter care and services for children most in need of protection before they are reintegrated with their family. The shelter home has provided care and protection to children in conflict with the law, children without appropriate care and protection, child victims of abuse and violence. Since its inception in 2018, Children’s halfway home has provided support and reintegration services to 48 children with 34 children having been successfully reunified with their families.
It is evident from our findings that the children at the shelter home have benefitted from shelter services and case management support that has made it possible for them to live a meaningful and secure future. To ensure the successful implementation of shelter home services, a response mechanism feedback box was installed in the shelter. This will enable children to provide their feedback to assess current practices and improve service delivery. In this effort, we also hope to promote Child participation at all levels of programming. We continually collect feedback from the children at the shelter home and emphasize the importance of Child Participation for them to understand that their feedback and opinions matter in all aspects of their existence from a child rights perspective.
In total, Save the children Child Protection programs have reached 242 children through individualized Child protection Case management program support in five pilot districts namely, Paro, Thimphu, Mongar, Zhemgang and Chukha since 2018.
Life Skills Training at YDRC
Save the children has been supporting the conduct of the Life Skills Training held annually at the Youth Development and Rehabilitation Center (YDRC) since 2017. The life skills training provided to Children in conflict with the law comprises of sessions on self-awareness, effective communication, problem solving, creative thinking, critical thinking, inspirational talk on youth related issues, interpersonal relationships, decision making, resilience building (in lieu of coping with stress), coping with emotions, empathy, and nature of team building and understanding one’s role. The life skills training is a very important component of the children’s development while stationed at the YDRC. It is evident that the training provides the children with substantial information and new knowledge on coping with stress, understanding themselves and others, and decision making. Save the children collects regular feedback from the participants to ensure quality training are provided to the children in conflict with the law to suit their needs. The life skills training has empowered children in conflict with the law by giving them confidence in themselves and enabled them to acquire many skills through the learnings that are provided through this training program thus preparing them for post release and reintegration into society. Every year a minimum of 20 children have been availing this training opportunity.