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April 12, 2019

Survey says state-run shelter homes facing problems


April 12, 2019

PESHAWAR: The state-run shelter homes in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are facing many challenges including lack of emergency medical aid, funds for medical requirements, provision of special dietary requirements and legal aid and accommodation for survivors.

As per the assessment survey conducted by a civil society organization, Noor Education Trust, of the three state-run shelter homes (Darul Amans) from 2015 to 2017, including Peshawar, Swat and Abbottabad, the shelter homes face many challenges and problems.

The assessment survey was presented at a “One-day orientation workshop with the staff of the Darul Amans and Social Welfare Department on Gender-Based Violence, Case Management and Referral Mechanism” organised by the Noor Education Trust in collaboration with the Australian Aid here on Thursday.

The assessment report revealed that there were no nutritional provisions for children, lack of jammers inside the shelter homes, lack of Standard Operating Procedures, Terms of Reference, job descriptions and code of conduct, lack of proper training for staff and no security plan existed in the shelter homes.

During the orientation training, the heads and other staff of the five shelter homes including Swat, Mardan and Peshawar stated that some areas have been improved in the last two years, but they are still facing problems of non-availability of funds for the emergency medical aid, proper legal aid to the survivors and accommodation as the shelter homes are overburdened.

Roohi Khan and Irum Saba of the Noor Education Trust imparted training to the heads and staff of the Darul Amans about building strong coordination and strengthen the referral mechanism and to promote Noor Education Trust’s services, capacity development on gender-based violence, case management and effective referral mechanism.

They also shared the recommendations with the heads and staff of the Darul Amans, including appropriate training arrangement for the relevant staff, SOPs, job description, code of conduct, proper reporting format, regular monitoring needs to be developed and notified for the state-run shelter homes.

The other recommendations are 24 hours transport facility to be provided for the survivors, proper counselling session of intensive life skill should be arranged, need of reconciliation and mediation process, arrange awareness session on psycho-education and legal topic for the survivors, public hospital facilities should be ensured, the availability of lady doctors for emergencies and visits for medical checkups, clear job description should be developed, hiring lawyers, psychologists, case manager as regular employees and the environment should be more responsive to the physical, play psychological, recreational needs of the survivors.

The participants also stressed awareness about women rights as per Islamic and constitutional rights, survivors awareness on the rules of the shelter homes, proper screening of cases of violence and providing a referral for legal, psychological and medical support and adequate referral mechanism and facilities are to be ensured.

Deputy Director Social Welfare Department, Nusrat Jabeen, said that the situation in the state-run shelter homes is improving now and there should be a public-private partnership between the government and private shelter homes for improvement of the shelter homes referral mechanism system.

Through a public-private partnership, she said, not only the issue of overcrowding would be resolved but also strong referral mechanism of the survivors would be developed.

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