TRAINING CHILD DEVELOPMENT WORKERS
In any programme of human development there should be focus on the child as he is the future adult.
In all human societies, child care has been basically the responsibility of the family, particularly the mother. In olden times, health, education and recreation services for the general well-being of the child were provided by the child's family. Later, when social institutions outside the family began to develop, children were taken care by secondary institutions like the school, the health centre, baldwadi and the like. Because of the complexity of our society and the race for economic development, it has not been possible to ensure that the family is so strengthened as to be able to take care of the needs of its children. Hence secondary institutions have to take up more responsibilities in child care programmes. In this regard, the State has to assume a bigger responsibility in child care programmes.
Child Development Workers
With a view to providing child care services, there is need for a variety of child care workers, who work with the child at the grass-root level, performing some of the functions which the family is normally supposed to perform. In this regard, the child care worker also works with the family in order to improve the skills and capacities of the mother to look after the child better. The need for the training of child care workers is also felt because of the complexity of human society and the availability of expertise through various social groups, which help in our understanding of the needs of the human child. Thus the needs of the child are met through a suitably trained child care worker.
Categories of Child Development Workers
Non-Institutional Community Services. Child care workers for non-institutional community services are those concerned with pre-school children such as crèche attendants, nursery school/baldwadi teachers, balasevikas, anganwadi workers, etc. There are workers organizing recreation, hobbies, libraries and cultural activities for children. There are others who work with families for adoption and foster care services. Child health and school health service is the concern of the health functionaries such as midwives, auxiliary nurse, midwives, paediatricians and the like. Psychologists, psychiatrists and psychiatric social workers are working in social work service, child guidance clinics, etc. In addition, there are multipurpose workers like grama sevikas who look after the needs of children, nutrition services, welfare of mothers, etc. These workers are also assisted by associate women workers known as gram lakhmi/gram kaki.
Residential Services. For residential institutions, there are house-mothers, group workers, superintendents of institutions for socially handicapped children, etc.
Community Development Workers
The children's programmes are of the nature of balwadis, crèches, play centers, nutrition centers, maternity and child welfare centers, etc. Therefore, a functionary known as grama sevika was introduced to implement the programmes for women and children.
The mukhya sevikas who supervised the work of grama sevikas are trained by various Social Education Organizers Training Centres either run directly by the Government or by voluntary agencies like the Gandhi Gram near Madurai, Vishwa Bharti at Shanti Niketan, the Ramakrishna Mission in Calcutta, Sewa Mandir in Udaipur, M.S. University of Baroda, etc. The Directorate of Extension organizes subject-matter courses for mukhya sevikas and the instructors of the Farmers Training Centres, in child development and nutrition at different Home Science Colleges on a grant-in-aid basis.