Expansion of Foster Care Services (Xth Five Year Plan 2002-07 Rs. 30.00 Lakh and Annual Plan 2006-07 Rs. 5.00 Lakh)

The Department of Social Welfare under the provision of Children Act 1960 was  implementing the programme of Foster care services for children to provide them a family where they could be properly looked after. Before placing the children with the Foster families, after receiving the applications from the prospective parents, a social investigation was done and after having found them suitable families, the prospective parents were declared fit persons. All the Foster care placements were done by the Child Welfare Board. For implementing the programme some post were created consisting of one Superintendent, welfare officer and other office staff.

After the Juvenile Justice Act was passed in 1986 this programme lost its limelight as the provision of the Act were not conducive. Further the monetary support under this programme was too less for the families to sustain and rear a child for their overall development. The voluntary organizations initiated pioneer programmes of sponsorship of children. But the children living in the institutions don not benefit from these programmes. 

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children Act 2000) has laid special emphasis for these programmes under Section 42. The act says that the Foster care may be used for temporary placement of those infants who are ultimately given for the adoption. The children may be placed in the families for a short or extended period of the time. The state government is also being advised to make the rules for the Foster care of the children.

Justification of Scheme:

Department want to expand the existing scheme as the concept of Foster care involves a substitute family for a temporary period till the child’s own family is not in a position to accept them back in the family. This will help in the de-institutionalization of children and would provide children suitable families.

Methodology to implement the Scheme:

The help of recognized voluntary organizations, experienced in the field of family and child welfare will be requested to identify suitable family and help in their social investigation. Suitable eligibility criteria for the NGO’s, foster care parents will be prepared and eligibility criteria for selection of children for Foster care will be decided. The NGO’s will also do counseling of the families and supervise the child once placed. The Scheme will be operated by the department with the existing staff of the scheme. But, recently a consultation/workshop was held on the non institutional care programme to children. After the day long deliberations, a recommendation was made that there  should be one nodal agency for effective implementation of this programme. The recommendation was also made that the State Govt. should provide 90% assistance to this nodal agency and funding for non recurring items. Complete modalities in this scheme are to be worked out besides re notification of amendments proposed in the foster care rules.

Financial Implication:

For this programme sponsoring NGO’s, Trust and Corporate Houses will be approached . However, for initiating the activities in the schemes, Rs. 30.00 Lac are approved in the Xth Five year plan 2002-2007 to cover 800 beneficiaries. In the Annual Plan 2002-03, 2003-2004 no expenditure could be incurred as the amendments could not be formalized. For the Annual Plan 2004-05 the approved outlay is of Rs. 5.00 Lac which may be incurred in full. For the Annual Plan 2006-07, an amount of Rs. 5.00 lakh is proposed to cover 200 beneficiaries. 

Approved outlay 10th Five Year Plan 2002-07        = Rs. 30.00 lakh revenue

Proposed outlay Annual Plan 2006-07                     = Rs. 5.00 lakh revenue.