The Vatsalya team members reach out to children, new and old, at various contact points on the streets, pavements, railway station platforms, market places, theatres, places of tourist and religious interest. Gradually these contact points become well known to the children on the street in that area and also to the public including small shops, hutments, police etc. At these points the Vatsalya workers are able to see and understand the children in their natural environment and able to anticipate and address their immediate problems and needs.
A Contact Center is a place close to the child's place of stay or work where a child can drop in for few hours to be with the caring adult, utilize certain facilities and to participate in the ongoing educational, recreational and developmental programmes like dance, drama, music and interactions through group activities. We provide facilities like bathing, locker, and meals at these centers. We have projects on non-formal education, support in formal education, skill development, vocational training at these centers. The team at the center conducts sessions on relevant topics on health, hygiene, child rights, addiction, and importance of education. Parents meetings are organized at the centers to involve them in the child's development process.
The Vatsalya Foundation has three Contact Centres at C.P. Tank, Mahim and Bandra.
The Shelter Home is a safe and secure place to grow for the children who have an oppressive home environment. The children are gradually introduced to structured and disciplined life through a constructive group living experience. The children are involved in decision making, planning and implementing the activities. The Shelter Home at Anand Niketan, Mahalaxmi (W) has two multi-purpose rooms with minimal furniture made lively with bright wall colours and attractive pictures. But more than the physical surrounding, it's the environment created by the children themselves that is so very lively and inspiring. Any visitor coming to the Shelter Home cannot miss the warmth and openness that it exuberates. Coming from various difficult backgrounds the children truly find a home of their own at the Shelter Home of Vatsalya.
Children have access to various basic services like education, health care, recreation and counseling for their growth and development. The aspects that are specifically focused are nutrition, personal hygiene, medical treatment, skill development and interaction with individuals and groups from mainstream society. Individual and group counseling with children and families is an integral part of our approach at the Shelter Home. The skill/vocational trainings include gardening, block printing, glass painting, computer operations, hospitality etc.
Youth above the age of 18 years may need support till they become fully independent and are ready to become part of the mainstream society. These youth may be pursuing higher education and simultaneously working as well. These youth are encouraged to live together, in a group of 4-5, in a rented space. We help them get a room where they can stay, cook and prepare themselves for an independent living. Some of the boys are working at Vatsalya too.
At Vatsalya we believe that a child's rightful place is his/her own family and home. We encourage children to go back to their home in case they are runaway. Even in cases where the family is in the city but the child has opted to live away from the family, we counsel the child and parents to live together. The decision of where to live, however, remains with the child. Only when the family conditions are not conducive to the child's growth, do we encourage living in our Shelter Home or other homes for children.