*Representational File Photo
In a big step to promote family-based care programme, foster care and sponsorship guidelines have been notified in Jharkhand, the first state in the country to have a sponsorship guideline in place.
These guidelines were shared during a state level dissemination & orientation workshop organized by the Department of Women & Child Development, Government of Jharkhand and Jharkhand State Child Protection Society (JCCPS) in collaboration with UNICEF in Ranchi.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) clearly states that children are best raised in families. However, a child who no longer has a family or has been separated from her/his family, or whose family presents a serious danger/threat to her or him, has the right to special protection and assistance if necessary, including alternative care.
Dr. Madhulika Jonathan, Chief of UNICEF Jharkhand said, “UNICEF believes a child’s most appropriate line of defence is her or his family. It’s important to create a protective environment for children and families for which government commitment is one of the prerequisites. This includes governments investing in the services and support that help families keep their children at home. In cases where parental care is not an option, range of care options should be available for children, including foster care, adoption, or residential care. Any care option selected should be in the child’s best interest, considering where the best care can be given that will promote in the best way possible the child’s overall well-being. JJ Act 2016 and Integrated Child Protection Scheme also emphasizes on institutional care/placing the child in an institution as last resort and focuses on the family responsibility to take care of children and strengthening family-based rehabilitation mechanisms.”
Mr. Vinay Choubey, Secretary WCD said, “ The objectives of the programme today is to spread awareness about the state foster care and sponsorship guidelines and to orient the key duty bearers about their roles and responsibilities as laid down in the state guideline. We also plan to develop a divisional plan for roll out of the program.”
The programme was attended by Mr. Rajesh Singh Director ICPS; Ms Aarti Kujur Chairperson Jharkhand State Commission for protection of Child Rights (JSCPCR); district level officers from social welfare and PRI departments, District Child Protection Units (DCPU), Child Welfare Committees (CWC), Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) and NGOs.
What is Foster care?
Foster care is an arrangement whereby a child is placed for the purpose of alternate care in the domestic environment of a family, usually on a short-term or extended period of time, with unrelated family members for purpose of care and protection. Family or a family like an environment is most conducive to a child and every child has the right to grow in such an environment.
What is Sponsorship?
The Sponsorship programme is a family-based care and protection programme for vulnerable children. Sponsorship is meant for provision of supplementary support, financial or otherwise, to the biological or extended families to meet the medical, educational and developmental needs of the child and prevent family separation.