Makkala Nyaya Makkala Rakshane: What are the Guidelines Connected to the ‘Foster Family’?

In this episode of Makkala Nyaya Makkala Rakshane, Lakshmi and Prasanna are in conversation with RJ Manjula. They discuss details about the concept of the ‘Foster Family’.

A ‘foster family’ means a family found suitable by the District Child Protection Unit to keep vulnerable children in foster care. Following are a few stipulations laid out by the JJ Act of India:

The children in need of care and protection may be placed in foster care, including group foster care for their care and protection through orders of the Committee, after following the procedure as may be prescribed in this regard, in a family which does not include the child’s biological or adoptive parents or in an unrelated family recognised as suitable for the purpose by the State Government, for a short or extended period of time.

The selection of the foster family shall be based on the family’s ability, intent, capacity and prior experience of taking care of children.
All efforts shall be made to keep siblings together in foster families unless it is in their best interest not to be kept together.

The State Government, after taking into account the number of children, shall provide monthly funding for such foster care through District Child Protection Unit after following the procedure, as may be prescribed, for inspection to ensure well being of the children.

In cases where children have been placed in foster care for the reason that their parents have been found to be unfit or incapacitated by the Committee, the child’s parents may visit the child in the foster family at regular intervals, unless the Committee feels that such visits are not in the best interest of the child, for reasons to be recorded therefor; and eventually, the child may return to the parent’s homes once the parents are determined by the Committee to be fit to take care of the child.

The foster family shall be responsible for providing education, health, and nutrition to the child and shall ensure the overall well being of the child in such manner, as may be prescribed.

The State Government may make rules for the purpose of defining the procedure, criteria and the manner in which foster care services shall be provided for children.

The inspection of foster families shall be conducted every month by the Committee in the form as may be prescribed to check the well-being of the child and whenever a foster family is found lacking in taking care of the child, the child shall be removed from that foster family and shifted to another foster family as the Committee may deem fit.
No child regarded as adoptable by the Committee shall be given for long-term foster care.

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