Foster care scheme mooted for Right to Family

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 14 June 2013 19:35 IST

Goa is taking yet another leap forward in children’s rights by floating a scheme for foster care of a child in a family rather than admitting them in institutions.

A foster care scheme would be announced at a next cabinet meeting, as it was deferred today due to some minor corrections suggested by a couple of ministers in the proposal.

Adhering to the globally acclaimed theory of child’s right to family, the department of women and child development has drafted the scheme.

The foster care would be provided to the children of broken families, crisis like abuse or illness, natural or man-made disasters, orphans, children in institutions, in conflict with law or where child’s safety is at risk.

The scheme has proposed four kinds of foster care tenures – emergency placement, temporary or short term, long term till 18 years or up to 21 years as well as assessment placement for four months.

By creating Foster Care Fund, the department plans to pay the family Rs 1500 per month for the age group up to six years, Rs 2000 between 6 to 14 years and Rs 2500 per month for a child between 14 to 18 years.

However, the scheme says only that family which is financially capable of looking after the child and not adopting the child only to get the benefit of monthly assistance would be chosen for foster care.

 

The Child Welfare Committee would examine the family thoroughly and then hand over the child for foster care.

Besides having adequate facilities in the house to provide comfort to the child, the family needs to sign an agreement and also undergo training and orientation programmes from time to time.

No family however would be allowed to place more than two children for foster care.

The family, as far as possible, should belong to a similar socio-economic and cultural milieu and no discrimination on the basis of caste, religion, ethnic status, disability or health status would decide the placement.

The basic rationale of the scheme is to provide the child with basic needs, love, care, health and security essential for the child’s emotional and psychological well-being.

The scheme prefers a relative or a family member for foster care but unrelated family is not ruled out, provided the arrangement is found to be in the best interest of the child. 

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