Little money, lots of shortcomings
A recent report on childcare, based on government children's homes has highlighted deplorable shortcomings including lack of funds, staff and central supervision.

The research report by lawyer Vijaya Samaraweera mainly focuses on the lack of funds which have led to shortcomings in facilities and unfilled staff positions.

The report says that heads of institutions had admitted that they lacked the finances to run their establishments. On the lack of staff the report says, "In all institutions, staff vacancies exist at all levels; from labourers to Wardens." A more shocking revelation was that many of those employed did not have the required qualifications.

The lack of supervision by central authorities has also been highlighted. "In the Western Province, the authorities attached to the Provincial Council, rarely visit the institutions," confirms the report, which however states that the Southern Province authorities pay a lot more attention to children's homes within their jurisdiction.

The problem of congestion including logistical problems of housing the sheer number of children, and more importantly its psychological effect on the children has been discussed in the report.

The research further highlights individual cases of misjudgement, carelessness and injustice on the part of the authorities. A cross section of the data also clearly reveals state negligence regarding the children's health and welfare.

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