Information session held on fostering children under state care

A woman walks past posters advocating for protection of the rights of children in a street in Male' City. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

An information session has been conducted by the Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services Child and Family Protection Service (CFPS) and Fertility Support Community regarding fostering children under state care.

The session which was conducted online during which information to participants were given by CFPS’s Director Fazza Fuad and Assistant Director Aminath Nisreen. During the session, participants thoroughly briefed existing rules pertaining to fostering children under state care.

In this regard, should a family wish to foster a child under state care, a form must be submitted. Subsequently, it would be verified whether the applicant meet the necessary requirements whilst an assessment on the family’s situation will also be conducted. Information gathered during this assessment will be presented to the Reintegration Committee, after which the applicant must take part in an interview conducted by the Committee. Afterwards, requested gender of child would be matched and handed over to the foster parents.

At present, four categories of children under state care are available for fostering. As per the regulation on fostering, the child being fostered must be one who has been left for state care whilst the parents or a guardian is alive. Or it must be a child, who for any reason, is not able to live with his or her family.

In addition to this, the state is required to prioritize children who whilst under its care, the family has failed to keep in contact with or take responsibility for, without any extenuating circumstances to be put up for fostering. A child who is an orphan or does not have legal guardian or any other person to look after him or her can also be fostered.

Before a child is handed over to a foster family, the state will look into whether there is any individual who can look after the child within his or her family. After the child is handed over to the foster family even, the state will closely monitor the status of the child.

CFPS said that if a child is being fostered at an island, the situation of the child can be closely monitored in collaboration with government authorities at the island. Meanwhile, if a child is being fostered at a foreign country, the situation of the child will be monitored by the state and Gender Ministry via the Maldivian diplomatic mission established in the respective country.