Physical and Mental Health Support and Outcomes for Children in Residential Care Programs
June 01, 2020 - August 01, 2020
As explained by Dr. Kiran Modi, Managing Trustee of Udayan Care, Udayan is a Sanskrit word meaning "Eternal Sunshine." Udayan Care aims to bring support and hope into the lives of underserved sections of society that require intervention. Registered in 1994 as a Public Charitable Trust, Udayan Care works to empower vulnerable children, women, and youth in 23 cities across 13 states of India.
Starting with the establishment of one small group home or 'Ghar' for OHC (Out-of-Home-Care) children in Delhi in 1996, Udayan Care has worked to meet needs of these vulnerable populations by establishing additional homes for OHC children and Aftercare Programs for youth leaving care; spreading girls' higher education; providing vocational training and livelihood programs; and advocating for better standards of care for 'Children without Parental Care' in Alternative Care settings, including institutional care. In 25 years, they have directly impacted the lives of about 25,000 children, women and youth as beneficiaries as well as thousands as indirect beneficiaries through their training programs and advocacy efforts.
Through the Udayan Care Ghar Program, Duke SRT students have worked on mental health assessment over the past 6 years. In this 7th year, students will continue to support core mission goals and gain deep experience learning about Orphan and Separated child health issues in India and the care model Udayan has developed. Students will develop and support service and research activities that help understand the short and long term mental and physical health needs of children, transitioning young adults, and caregivers in Udayan Ghars.
Activities for summer 2019 may include, but are not limited to the following:
• Develop sustainable collaborations around research methods and service capacity with Udayan Staff
• Develop and implement strategy for key research questions that are important for Udayan leadership.
• Recruit and collect longitudinal and cross-sectional data using current tools on bio-psycho-social health, including attachment, risk/resiliency, trauma, physical health, growth and nutrition
• Distill findings from last 6 years, combine and help analyze past and current physical and mental health data, write reports to disseminate results for professional staff, children, caretakers, and larger NGO community and for research journals.
• Explore, develop, and help investigate new tools for the Indian OSC population and their caretakers.
• Explore and assess service support programs for OSC and their caretakers
• Active involvement in engaging with and mentoring children and transitioning youth at Udayan Care
• Immersion in the local culture and interaction with health workers, policy makers, and child guardians to better understand solutions to promote optimal care and development.
Project Application Process
Students must fill out and submit a project application, CV and recent transcript to Ms. Lysa MacKeen by October 14, 2019. Students may apply to no more than two project opportunities and a separate application must be completed for each SRT project site. The scheduled interviews for this project location will take place during the week of October 23.
Selected students will need to complete the Udayan Care volunteer application form which includes a background check and ethics protocols.
Project Selection Criteria
Hindi oral and/or writing skills very useful but not required.
Area of Interest
• Deep interest in mentoring and working with children and young adults
• Interest in social science research. Knowledge (course or experience) in research methods, data collection and statistical analysis helpful
• Policy interest and in developing models that support capacity building that allow sustainable transfer of research and applied program skills to local leadership.
• Self-motivated learner, passionate about GH and sensitive to cultural conditions
• Ability to work independently as well as in a team of peers, community co-workers and community supervisors in an intense social and work environment.
• Course work and/or experience in developmental psychology, child/maternal health, and global mental health
• Experience with India and/or Hindi very helpful but not required. Of primary importance: Cross-cultural sensitivity openness, interest in self-reflection
• Professionalism and maturity in working with care-providers, health workers, and NGO supervisors and co-workers.
• Excellent organizational and communication skills required
• Team members will be required to participate in weekly team training meetings and engage actively in post-fieldwork follow-up tasks