Report: Gender Ministry violated policies on foster adoption

Photo shows members of a family enjoying the kite flying festival "Gudi Mahaasamaa" of the Ooredoo Color Run 2019. (Sun Photo/Ahmed Awshan Ilyas)

A performance audit by the Auditor General’s Office has revealed that the adoption policies for children under the care of the Gender Ministry were carried out implemented wrongly and against the set procedure and policies.

The report focused on the work carried out by the Police and Family Protection Authority regarding children’s rights from 2014 to 2016.

The report states that the process of where children were sent to temporary foster homes was not carried out in the right way.

The procedure states that an assessment by the Ministry should be conducted on the conditions of the household and completed within seven days before a child is sent into the custody of that household.

The report highlighted that the assessments of five households were not carried out and nine more had been withdrawn by the applicants due to the lengthy-time period taken to conduct the assessment. This resulted in the loss of trust by applicants in the Gender Ministry, according to the report.

The actions of the Ministry would also discourage other applicants and result in the loss of foster homes and loving parents for innocent children.

Children can only be sent to the care of a foster home after 14 conditions were met and fulfilled by the applicants, however, documents to verify that these conditions were met were not found in the files of some of these applicants.

Some of the missing documents include national ID cards, marriage certificates and details of financial stability to foster a child.

The agreement between the ministry and the foster parents also include a plan to monitor and assist the family in taking care of the child that should be shared with the family.

The report showed that even though there was a plan, there was no record of any monitoring carried out and while one or two instances of supervising the child were carried out, there were documents filed on the issue.

The report called on the Gender Ministry to adhere to the set standards and procedure and conduct assessments at a fast pace to carry out the procedure at a rapid rate. The report also called on the Ministry to better manage the filing systems regarding the assessments and documents of the process.