Homes for children in need of care and protection can be set up under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 [JJ Act]. The Ministry of Women and Child Development is providing financial assistance, under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS), to State Governments/UT Administrations for setting up and maintenance of Homes and Specialized Adoption Agencies (SAAs) under the JJ Act. The number of Government run Homes, including Children’s Home and Specialized Adoption Agencies (SAAs) assisted under ICPS is 586 and 72, respectively. The numbers of children benefitted under these Homes are 28,724 and 750, respectively.
The JJ Act is the primary law to deal with the children in need of care and protection. Section 34 (3) of the JJ Act mandates registration of all Child Care Institutes (CCIs) housing children in need of care and protection with the intent of enforcing minimum standards of care, under the Act and Rules, there-under, for the services provided for children in these Homes. The JJ Act and Central Model Rules, there-under, provide for mechanisms for stringent monitoring of quality of services through Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) and Inspection Committees set up by the State Government at State, district and city levels. Further, the Rules provide for setting up of Children’s Committees in every institution which are, inter-alia, also encouraged to report incidents of abuse and exploitation, if any. Besides, Rule 60 of the Model Rules framed under the JJ Act also prescribes comprehensive measures to respond in case any kind of abuse, including sexual abuse, neglect and maltreatment is noticed in the CCI.
Section 44 of the JJ Act requires the State Government/UT Administrations to provide services for ‘after care programmes’ for taking care of children, for a period of three years, after they leave Homes to enable them to lead an honest, industrious and useful life. The Ministry of Women and Child Development is implementing a Centrally Sponsored Scheme, namely, ICPS, under which financial assistance is provided to State Governments/UT Administrations, inter-alia for after care services for such children to help sustain them during the transition from institutional to independent life. The services include housing facilities, vocational training, help to gain employment, counseling and stipend etc.