Childrenare the most vulnerable section of a society. The right to a family is one ofthe most basic rights of every child and the natural environment for a child togrow up in, is a nurturing family. When seen within a “Right Based Framework”,the challenge before every society is ensuring the child right to survival,protection, development and participation.
Child protection constitutesintervention programmes, policies and legislations to prevent the neglect,abuse, violence and exploitation of children. The current paradigm shift in thearea of child protection is the development of a preventive, community orientedand family based approach. The United Nations Guideline for Alternative Carefor Children is a response to enhance the implementation of the UnitedNations Conventions on the Rights of Children UNCRC. The guidelinesdefine children without parental care as “All Children, not in the overnightcare of at least one of their parents, for whatever reasons and under whatevercircumstances” and alternative care refers to a spectrum of services availableto children, whose parents are no longer able to provide adequate care. TheIntegrated Child Protection Scheme ICPS of the Government of Indiaincorporates this alternative care approach and includes programmes likeAdoption, Foster Care, Sponsorship and After Care for the vulnerable children.
BOSCO is committed to the issue of child protection, through interventionprogrammes for vulnerable children in Bangalore. Foster care is the newinitiative of BOSCO in response to the national efforts to promote AlternativeForms of Child care in India. This project was initiated in January 2012 and asone of the pioneering efforts the First National Consultation in Foster carewas organized. This provided a platform to NGOs, academicians, policy makers,practitioners to deliberate and discuss the concept and practice of Foster Carein India. It was an opportunity for partnership between the Government andcivil society organisation to converge and dovetail their efforts in promotingFoster Care in India. Even though the Foster Care Scheme was introduced inIndia in the early sixties, it did not become an effective National programme.In the Indian sociocultural context, family ties being strong, the practice wasmore of an informal “Kinship Care”.
The plurality of Foster Care practicesincluded short term and long term Foster Care, in related and unrelatedfamilies; it included foster care for children awaiting adoption, as also preadoptive foster care. There were many lessons learnt and experiences to bedocumented in the area of foster care