Every child is special and unique in himself or herself. And to nurture the child, a home is the best place. With these thoughts in mind, the new revised ‘FOSTER CARE SCHEME’ came into the picture. The Maharashtra state government started the ‘Foster Care Scheme’ under the department of Women and Child Welfare Ministry. This scheme was first initiated in 1972 in the state of Maharashtra which was started as a non-institutional care scheme. Later, it was modified in the year 2005 and was named “BAL SANGOPAL SCHEME”. Initially, this scheme was started in five districts under the pilot test program. The five districts covered under the foster care scheme were Palghar, Mumbai suburbs, Amravati, Pune and Solapur.
After successful effectuation, it was implemented in other districts of Maharashtra with the purpose to provide benefit to the orphaned children. A total of 40 children got benefitted from this scheme in the first phase of its implementation. The online registration option was provided for foster parents to register for the scheme and become part of this noble work. This scheme was implemented for children in the age group of 7-18 years for a period of 1-3 years.
Under the guidelines for foster care, the following steps were taken into consideration under this scheme.
The term duration for foster care of the child is categorized into short term and long term duration. The short term duration lasts for not more than one year whereas the long term duration is more than one year.
Foster care scheme has come up with the sole reason to provide the child with a home-like environment for his/her overall personality development. This scheme provides foster parents with the opportunity to contribute towards the growth of the child by sponsoring their education and nurturing them with love and affection. For the protection of the rights of the child, some precautionary steps such as regular interaction and monitoring the progress of foster child after every 15-20 days were taken into consideration to ensure their full safety. Also, the children with age less than six years were taken into consideration for permanent adoption rather than foster care scheme. For sure, this scheme is the right step in the right direction.
— Get to Know —
The National Policy for Children adopted in 2013 recognises that all children have the right to grow in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding.
“Foster Care” means placement of a child, by the Child Welfare Committee for the purpose of alternate care in the domestic environment of a family, other than the child’s biological family, that has been selected, qualified, approved and supervised for providing such care.