Three Rust College Social Work students are currently in India, working at children’s homes in Kottoyam, a city in the Indian state of Kerala. The homes are child correctional institutions that are aimed at the ultimate welfare of children who are in need of care and protection under the Juvenile Justice Act.
Anna Johnson of Madison, Mississippi, Dominique Smith of Victoria, Mississippi and Cusi De la Cruz of Southaven, Mississippi are each working at three different homes in Kottayam, as part of their Social Work internship credit. Johnson is working at the Government Children’s Home in Thiruvanchoor, which houses 200 boys. De la Cruz is located at Aswasa Bhavan in Pampadi. Aswasa Bhaven is an alliance of Corrections India, and is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the children of incarcerated parents. Smith is working at St. John of God in Veloor. St. John of God provides shelter, security, social justice, and empowerment, social integration and self-respect for the learning disabled.
These students are accompanied by Social Work professor Dr. Gemma Beckley, who is the Director of the Families First Resource Center and Chair of the Department of Social Work for Rust College. Dr. Beckley currently is researching the effects of incarceration on the children of prisoners.
Marian College (India) is working with Rust College to provide fieldwork and accommodations.[/mpoverlay]