Updated: June 20, 2021 8:09:33 am
A long-pending financial assistance programme for children in distress is now ready to be availed in the city, with the release of implementation guidelines for family-based sponsorships in Delhi.
Provided for under the Juvenile Justice Act 2015, the programme will extend non-institutional financial assistance to children who are either orphaned and living with extended family, or who have a lone parent incapable of providing for them.
Due to a lack of state guidelines, the programme had not been implemented yet in Delhi. As per the newly released guidelines, the quantum of assistance is Rs 2,000 per month and is limited to two children per family.
Assistance will be provided to a child under the programme after an order is passed by a Child Welfare Committee or Juvenile Justice Board after a ‘need assessment’.
“The duration of the sponsorship support shall be decided on a case-to-case basis as per the decision of the Committee or the Board initially, for a period of up to six months. Thereafter, it will be reviewed after every six months and in appropriate cases, may be extended to the period ordinarily not exceeding three years or till the child attains the age of 18 years, whichever is earlier and based,” state the guidelines.
The guidelines have listed a large number of agencies which may refer a child to a CWC or JJB for sponsorship. Apart from Childline, police, the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights, the District Child Protection Units and the District Legal Services Authorites, a child may also be referred by a school, anganwadi centre, hospital, an NGO in child protection services and so on.
“If a teacher identifies that a child is in distress, they can also refer a child for sponsorship support. We’ve tried to keep this is as flexible as possible,” said Women and Child Development department Rashmi Singh, who chaired the committee which framed the guidelines.
“A child covered under the sponsorship programme shall be assisted for his/ her immunisation, health check-up, growth monitoring, age appropriate education, higher education, skill development, pre-employment training,” state the guidelines. These require that a child between the ages of five and 16, receiving support from the programme attend at least 75% of the schools days, and children younger than that be mandatorily enrolled in an anganwadi centre or playschool.
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