Building trust between children and adults in India
Butterflies attended JUCONI’s conference on the Therapeutic Approach and joined Family for Every Child’s first Community of Practice on this method in Mexico in October. The therapeutic approach is about building trust and treating disturbed or broken relationships between children and adults. Through a therapeutic approach, the relationships are bettered leading to improved behaviours and everyday lives. Butterflies are taking what they learnt from JUCONI in Mexico back to India.
Our organisation Butterflies has been working with children for the last 25 years. The children we work with often live on the streets or are working in hazardous situations, have been trafficked or have left their homes looking for more opportunities in the city. Through our experience we have realised that with all of these different situations it is important to involve the families in the work that we do with the children to achieve the best results. This enables parents to know how their children are doing and makes the children aware of their parents’ involvement. By attending the conference organised by JUCONI and by joining the Community of Practice on Therapeutic Approaches, we will be able to adapt some of the processes from JUCONI to find different ways to engage parents. They have given us input and new strategies for the well-being of the families and the children.
But taking something theoretical and applying it practically is not always easy. When we work in the field we face many challenges: for example India has a different legal setup than Mexico, so we have to be more flexible our application of JUCONI’s therapeutic approach. To reach the crisis centre for boys that the organisation runs, children have to come through legal procedures and magistrates, which means that it can take longer for the children to be admitted.
We will use the method to create more positive relationships between children that are working and their employers. We have meetings with shopkeepers that employ children. Sometimes they might be resistant to sending the children to our centre because the children are working but after we meet them they sometimes allow it. In these situations it’s crucial that we don’t put the children in more difficult situations. These situations are delicate as the children are working to earn money for their families but risk losing their jobs if we push the employers too much or if the children visit our centre despite their employers advice not to do so. This is where the therapeutic method from JUCONI can play an important role in developing better relationships with the shopkeepers and build trust between them and the children.
Sometimes these situations can be draining and stressful for our staff. At the conference I attended a sessions on Compassion Fatigue which will be really helpful for our staff. While our primary focus is the well-being of children, it’s important that staff feel strong enough to give children the best support possible.