‘Place of Safety’ suffers shortage of staff, facilities

Friday, Feb 26, 2016,14:54 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Thiruvananthapuram | The Comptroller and Auditor General of India has found that functioning of ‘Place of Safety’, a rehabilitation home in Kerala for juveniles who have committed serious offences, is affected due to the shortage of trained staff and lack of facilities. The report, tabled in the state Assembly recently, said as many as 22 juveniles transferred to ‘Place of Safety’ in Thrissur district up to March, 2015 were deprived of the much needed services of trained staff.

It indicates lack of seriousness of the government to take care of such juveniles required under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, it said. The ‘Place of Safety’ is a home to accommodate juveniles who have attained the age of 16 years and committed serious offences, or their conduct was such that it would not be in their interest or in the interest of other juveniles to keep them along with others in observation homes or special homes.

The PoS was envisaged to provide necessary therapeutic care like specialised medical counselling, psychiatric care and vocational training for their proper educational, vocational, mental, psychological, social and employment rehabilitation and to prevent them from reverting to bad company or crime, it said. The audit, however, noticed that despite the state government according sanction to engage staff for the Place of Safety such as protection officer case worker, educator, doctor, art and craft-cum-music teacher, PT instructor-cum-yoga trainer and house-keeper, none of the posts were filled up, the CAG report said.

Instead, the day to day affairs were being managed by deputing staff from observation homes, it said. The report also stated that the failure of the government in appointing staff has resulted in depriving inmates of counselling and rehabilitation assistance. The CAG also found that the shortage of manpower hampered the functioning of the observation-cum-children’s homes in the state as well. The Individual Care Plan for children was not prepared due to the failure of the government to sanction posts of counsellors, the report said.

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