NEW DELHI: The Delhi government has decided to allow individuals, institutions or groups to temporarily adopt orphaned or abandoned children staying in its shelter homes.
For the first time, the State Children Protection Society (SCPS) of the department of women and child development has invited applications urging people to come forward to take responsibility for such children.
Any person, institution or group, willing to take care of a kid in need, can write to the member secretary of the society with social-cultural status, family composition, and financial capacity. The details are on the department’s website.
“Such provisions already existed in the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act. This is our awareness campaign for child welfare committees (CWCs). After assessing the needs of the child and families, foster care may be allowed. For the first time, a public notice has been issued to invite people or organisations and make them aware of the arrangement. We have also issued a set of guidelines for the same as per the rules,” said Rashmi Singh, director of the women and child development (WCD) department.
As per the notice, a person or couple who is 35 years of age and above, resident of Delhi and owns a house in the city, can apply to receive a child under foster care arrangement.
The guidelines – to declare a person or parent fit for foster care — say that any individual who is fit to temporarily receive a child for care, protection or treatment, for a period as may be necessary, may be recognised by the Juvenile Justice Board or the CWCs as a fit person and foster family.
The guidelines also say that before declaring a child abandoned or orphan and available for adoption, the committee will make efforts and an inquiry to trace parents or guardians.
The officials, aware of the development, said that the notice inviting people to receive children was issued given the COVID pandemic, which has rendered several children without parents. A child will be handed over to foster parents or institution after due diligence and police verification, said an official.
A child may be placed in a foster family for a short or long term depending upon their needs. The duration of short term foster care will be for a period of not more than one year. Long term foster care can be periodically extended on the basis of assessment of the compatibility of the child in a group foster care setting.