1st Odisha state level Care Leavers convention held

Enhancing Young Care Leavers’ transitions from Institutional Care to Independent Living
Bhubaneswar: A virtual 1st Odisha state level Care Leavers convention was held with the presence of state team of Odisha State Child Protection Society (OSCPS), Senior Officials of Women and Child Development department& Mission Shakti,Govt.of Odisha, Officials of UNICEF, District Child Protection Officers and the Care Leavers. The main objective of the event was to discuss the challenges, priorities and needs of Care leavers in the process of their transitioning to the independent living and to ensure that care leavers are equipped with the knowledge, skills, resources, and support networks that facilitate their smooth transition from the institutional care system to independent living.

Smt. Anu Garg, IAS, Principal Secretary to Govt. DWCD & MS shared the state prospective on after care. She elaborated the state prospective to support care leavers in their journey and invited all participants to share their achievements as well as struggles to enable the Govt. to support them with the available resource and schemes.

Shri Aravind Agrawal,IAS, Director, ICDS & SW and OSCPS in introductory remarks explained about the recent initiatives in policy for the betterment of children in need and welcomed the participants. More than 250 numbers of young adults who left Chilld Care Institutions after attending 18 years of age has participated in the programme. Many of them including Ms.Kalyani Rath, presently
working as nursing faculty at Prativa Devi College of Nursing, Bhubaneswarand Shri Robert Livingstone Bethal working as finance officer in Orien Company in Bangalore shared their experiences on their transition from institutional living to independent living.

Ms. Monika Nielsen, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Bhubaneswar elaborated on successful transition of care leavers to independent living. She highlighted on the challenges and issues in the process of transitioning that revels from various study findings across the globe. A facebook group of Odisha Care leavers Association was also inaugurated during the program. Shri Subroto Bagchi, Chairman of Odisha Skill Development Authority cited encouraging examples on vision building of care leavers. He emphasized on building today for a better tomorrow.

Also inspired care leavers by saying “each one connected here is a strong person to achieve anything they want” and conveyed best wishes for the care leavers of the state. Dr. Kiran Modi, founder and managing trustee of Udayan Care, New Delhi also shared her
experiences on forming and strengthening care leavers association. She congratulated the state Govt. for the initiative which is a first of its kind in the nation by a state Govt. and invited all the care leavers to joint the international care leavers convention going to be organized very shortly.

At the end, Smt.RegaGeetarani Patnaik, OAS, Additional Director, OSCPS in her concluding remark shared the way forward. Sri Pritikanta Panda, Programme Manager, OSCPS anchored the event and thanked all the participants for their effective participation in the convention.

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