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Bala Mandir Kamaraj Trust

Kinship Care

The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the lives of many across the world. A large number of children have lost one or both parents to this, and in a vast majority of cases, there has been a loss of the only breadwinner in the family. These children continue to live with their extended families, rather than moving to a shelter home. However, due to the setbacks caused by this loss at a young age, the children would have a significant requirement for academic, socio-emotional and financial support to truly achieve their potential.

As a reputed childcare institute with over 70 years of experience and expertise in childcare, Bala Mandir recognises the need to support the holistic development of these children as part of the “Kinship Care” programme.

Early adverse life experiences, like bereavement and growing up in disadvantaged communities, carry life-long consequences for children and their socio-economic attainment as adults. Education is a key moderator, and a child's best chance to escape the cycle of poverty. Bala Mandir is committed to ensuring that all these children – regardless of gender, religion, caste, creed, socioeconomic background or circumstance – realize their right to quality education.

What is Kinship CareKinship Care

The term Kinship Care refers to the full-time care of a child by a surviving single parent, relative or another member of the extended family (who is a next of kin). It is imperative that kinship caregivers have the support they need when a child is in their care. Bala Mandir, as an NGO, has launched the Kinship Care programme as one of the first few in India where a social welfare organisation is supporting COVID impacted children. Bala Mandir is presently supporting 500 children under the age of 12 years under this programme, in 5 districts of Tamil Nadu, namely Chengalpattu, Tiruvallur, Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvannamalai.

The Kinship Care programme will help the children deal with the setback caused by the loss of the parent(s) and improve their chances of reaching their full potential. Through this programme, Bala Mandir is creating 'Virtual Homes', where the children will get focused support for their holistic development, from dedicated field social workers for each district.

Kinship Care Philosophy:

Every child deserves a strong start – the best chance for a successful future. Better Self Esteem. Better Education. Better Life.

Kinship Care Support:

Under this programme, Bala Mandir has chosen to work with children below 12 years of age belonging to economically weaker sections of society, to ensure issues of low self-esteem and confidence areaddressed, improve academic progress by paying school fees and reducing school dropouts, and bridge learning gaps in key areas such as English and Mathematics through use of digital tools (such as the Kai Mel Kalvi and Read a Story initiatives). There is also focus on the well-being of the family through group counselling services for surviving single parents to cope with the sudden loss of life.