New season of vacation foster care programme kicks in

Not every child gets to experience a normal family life.

There are hundreds of children even in Kozhikode district who have been deprived of that experience due to various reasons. Imbam, the vacation foster care programme of the Department of Women and Child Welfare, has, however, made quite a headway in making it happen for these children over the past six years.

The vacation foster care programme started in Kozhikode district in 2014 and since then, an average of 20 children from various orphanages in the district have been taken to various homes during their summer holidays. While the government remains the legal guardian of these children, the families can opt to keep the child with them for a longer term if the child is willing. There are families in the district that have kept the children whom they brought home under the foster care programme, for around five years.

“The children given for foster care are those that are not legally free, as they would have a living relative, who might not be in a position to take care of the child”, said Anusree M.S., protection officer in charge of non-institutional care attached to the District Child Protection Office in Kozhikode. After five years of foster care, if the families and children were willing, the unit makes arrangements to free the children legally and let their foster families adopt them.

“We recently had a get together of such families and children. There are around 60 such families in the district”, Ms. Anusree said.

The Child Protection Unit got around 50 applications in the previous year for foster care of which around 25 families were selected. “We conduct a thorough investigation of the applicants before entrusting them with the children. We also conduct follow-ups every six months”, Ms. Anusree said.

While there are so many applicants for adoption, there are very few children who are legally free to be given for adoption. Usually, only children below 6 years are given for adoption. Older children are often entrusted with foster parents, who are not their legal guardians.

Fresh applications for vacation foster care can be sent to the District Child Protection Officer, District Child Protection Unit, B. Block, Second Floor, Civil Station, Kozhikode-673020 with biodata.

For details contact 0495-2378920 or 9995337208.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 6:12:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/new-season-of-vacation-foster-care-programme-kicks-in/article31044718.ece

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