Legislative Framework: Indian Overview
The last decade has witnessed rapid developments in child protection oriented programmes and legislative frameworks.
To start with, under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act) 2015, Foster Care is defined as “…placement of a child, by the Committee [District Child Welfare Committee – CWC] 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;”
Hence a foster parent(s) must go through the application process with the District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) and then approved legally by the competent authority, Child Welfare Committee (CWC), at the district level.
The Model Guidelines for Foster Care, 2016 were notified by the Government of India’s Ministry of Women & Child Development on 11 November 2016. The new Guidelines further define the concept of Group Foster Care and strengthen the provisions of foster care for the children of India.
For details, please refer http://www.wcd.nic.in/sites/default/files/Novermber2016-FC.pdf
The Guidelines derive strength from Section 44 of the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act 2015 (the Act), Rule 23 of the JJ Rules (the Rules), 2016 and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989).