Social Integration

Social integration is a process to prepare and settle the drug using children/youth in the mainstream society. This is a long term process as it is a way to restore their lives after being dysfunctional for several years on the street, so that they become contributing members to society. Children who come from the street have no references or imaginations about the mainstream, and the kind of responsibilities it entails, beginning from living in a home. Since they have been on the street for long duration in addiction all the basic values and etiquettes are missing in them. These children have no backdrop of values and social norms to conform. So there is resistance from them in accepting the transformation program at the rehab center. Their receptivity after detoxification treatment is low and slow initially.


Addicts find it difficult to follow a regular routine in their lives and tend to get bored and tired in due course of time. It is noticed that they are unable to pursue any job for a long time and tend to change it frequently. There is high incidence of absenteeism among them as they are unable to cope with the routine. All this is required to be monitored and brought to the notice of the addicts so that they are aware that others around them are taking cognizance of it.

WAYS OF SOCIAL INTEGRATION

Peer Educators in Rehab Program:

Children who are orphans or have doubtful family backgrounds remain in the organization, as it's their only home. The younger children continue with their education while the youth are encouraged to pursue Vocational Skills training. Peer Educators are ex-addicts who have completed detox and rehab programs in the organization. They undergo training to assist the Staff at the rehab centre in taking care of the younger children. The basic routine work is handled by them at the detox and rehab programs. Purpose behind training them to work is to bring about stability in them, enabling them to carry out the routine work at the centres. They are assigned specific tasks by the Staff at the centres, which they are expected to complete daily for stipulated period. It provides them exposures to different types of work which gives them some work experience. Moreover, it also instils in them responsibility, discipline to cope with pressure situations. Apart from that there is accountability and an opportunity for correction whenever they are wrong.

Half Way Home:

The long term residential rehabilitation program enables children to stabilize, become habituated to following routine time table and maintain decorum at the centre. Once the children complete school they are either motivated to re-unite with their families/guardians or enrol for Vocational Skills training. Some youth are enrolled for Technical courses outside the centre. The youth who do not have families return to the centre at night after work. This arrangement is referred to as the "Half way Home." They stay for duration of 2-3 months depending upon their behaviour and adjustment to the job. Thereafter, they move to a group home along with other peers from the centre wherein they share the household duties and expenses. Centre Staff remains in contact with them through home visits and monthly meetings.

Family Reunion:

Family reunion is a significant factor where children are encouraged to re-establish relationships with their family members. This is essential as it is a process of social integration where children lead drug free lives with their families and develop a bond with them, which they had missed out while on the street. Initially children when they come to SUPPORT in the rehab program invariably all of them lie about their family background/place of origin or they provide half information. In due course when they are confident and have established rapport with the Staff they open up and share about their families and place of origin. Children face guilt, fear, shame and resentment towards their parents/guardians who at some point in their lives had neglected and isolated them. Thus, when it comes to returning home to their parents/guardians these feelings surface and with which they are unable to handle through.

Staff with the help of the information provided by the children, initiates contact with the families, through home visits and official letters. It is easier to pay home visits when parents are located in Mumbai while those that are outstation are contacted through letters. The entire process of handing over the child to the parents/guardians is carried out with the help of CWC (Child Welfare Committee) where the children are below 18 years of age. The Staff escorts the child whose home is away from Mumbai and formally hands over to the parents/guardians and finally obtains signature/thumb impression on the documents prepared by SUPPORT.