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Foster Care Scheme for Children of Prisoners

The Ministry of Women and Child Development had issued the Model Guidelines for Foster Care, 2016 to be adopted/adapted by the States/UTs as per their requirement. The Model Guidelines were revised in the light of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015 by the Ministry. These guidelines have added components of group foster care where a group of unrelated children are placed with a foster family or under the care of foster care givers in a family like setting who may/may not be having their own biological children. The primary responsibility of execution of the Act lies with the State Governments/UT Administrations concerned. No separate data of children who have been given for foster care from prisons is being maintained centrally.

As per information provided by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), NCPCR is conducting a Sample Study on Education of Women Prisoners in India.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development in collaboration with National Commission for Women (NCW) conducts visits across the country to assess the condition of women in prison. The NCW has, with the view to improve the facilities available in custodial homes/prisons, housing women inmates, devised a detailed proforma for inspecting prisons. The findings of the inspection are shared with concerned authorities and are utilized for improving the condition of Jails as also facilities available in Jails.

The JJ Act is the primary law for children in the country. As per Section 2 (14) (vi) of the JJ Act, a child who does not have parents and no one is willing to take care of, or whose parents have abandoned or surrendered him is included as a “child in need of care and protection.” The Act provides a security net of service delivery structures including measures for institutional and non-institutional care to ensure comprehensive well-being of children in distress situations. The primary responsibility of execution of the Act lies with the States/UTs.

The Ministry of Women and Child Development is implementing a centrally sponsored Child Protection Services (CPS) Scheme (erstwhile Integrated Child Protection Scheme) for supporting the children in difficult circumstances. The primary responsibility of implementation of the scheme lies with the State Governments/UT Administrations. Under the scheme institutional care is provided through Child Care Institutes (CCIs), as a rehabilitative measure. The programmes and activities in Homes inter-alia include age-appropriate education, access to vocational training, recreation, health care, counselling etc. Under the non-institutional care component, support is extended for adoption, foster care and sponsorship. Further CPS also provides for “After care” services after the age of 18 years to help sustain them during the transition from institutional to independent life.

This information was given by the Minister of Women and Child Development, Smriti Zubin Irani, in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.Prisoners

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