Early intervention and individualized care

Since children more easily adapt to new people and surroundings when they are very young, or before they are old enough to have lasting memories of their previous environment of deprivation, Shanti Bhavan begins its programs for each child at the age of 4. Early intervention will ensure that problems are rectified before they become a permanent part of a child's being. The staff who conduct physical check-ups (initial check up and intermittent screening) and attend to children's physical ailments and emotional and psychological problems include a part-time doctor who makes routine visits every week, and psychological counselor who also makes weekly visits. In addition, children periodically receive vision testing, dental check ups and hearing examinations. Major health problems that arise are addressed through hospitals or through specialist-doctor intervention.

On a day to day basis, all staff members pay close watch over the health of the children, especially observing any illness, despondency, or other behavioral and social problems. A set of clear guidelines serve as a standard for staff attitudes and behaviors toward the children. The guidelines include danger signals of serious health problems to which staff would respond by calling upon a doctor or counselor, precautionary steps to prevent accidents, and how to respond in the event of accidents. As in normal, regular families, the children are attended to with warmth, understanding and acceptance, and not in a detached, impersonal or critical manner. With the love and attention they receive, children feel they are part of a large family.

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