The role of social workers in this setting pertains to identifying the cause of the offence and making necessary recommendations for the rehabilitation of juveniles in conflict with the law. The social workers can serve in juvenile homes as well as observation homes by way of group work or social casework with the client; juvenile, in this case is helped to develop an understanding of his problem, look at the resources available to him and involve them in the decision pertaining to them. Involving the community in activities of children such as celebration of some important days or cultural activities is also undertaken.
Role of Social Worker in Juvenile Home
Chapter IV of the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act 2000 lays emphasis on the concept of rehabilitation and social integration of the child. Thus, there is a great scope for the role of a social worker in this Act because of its correctional nature. During the stay of the child in a children’s home or special home, the rehabilitation or social reintegration of the child shall be carried out alternatively by
Sending the child to an after-care organization, to ensure family care to the children. The social worker can play an immense role in preparing the child for the above adoption processes.
Casework in children’s homes:
Children who are destitute, orphans runaways, vulnerable to violence, abuse or moral danger are generally placed in children’s homes. Most of these Homes operate under the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act and therefore provide custodial care to children for the specific time period. Social Caseworker is expected to help each inmate adjust to the life within the Home and achieve psychosocial development. As the children have often gone through traumatic experiences before they are placed in Homes, it is very important for them to come to terms with their life, talk about it and get over the pain and the sense of betrayal. The worker is expected to provide pastoral care, liaison with schools where children go for education help children develop positive relationships within the institution and prepare for life after their stay in the Home is over.
Facilitate adjustment: A social worker can facilitate the adjustment of the child in the home. Group can be used to develop a positive attitude in the inmates about the agency. The inmate will learn to accept the unavoidable strains of life there and make use of the opportunities available.
Diagnostic understanding: The social worker observes the individual’s behaviour in a group situation which helps the social worker in getting data about the inmate, understand his present situation and plan the inmate’s future.
Treatment process: The social worker assesses the nature of the inmate relationship with others in the group situation. The value systems that the inmates have are understood and its consequences are known. Through the group process the inmates receives feedback about his behaviour and gains insight into his behaviour. Greater self-awareness could be the beginning of the treatment for the inmates.
Encyclopedia of Social Work in India Vol III (1987) Ministry of Welfare, Government of India.
Friedlander W A (ed) (1976) Concepts and methods of Social Work New Delhi, Prentice Hall of India Private Ltd .
Ignou Study Materials.
Khan, M.Z and Kakkar, J (2003): Social Work Research: Prospect and Retrospect. In Singh, S. and Srivastva, S.P. (ed) Social Work in India_Challenges and Opportunities, New Royal Book Company, Lucknow