In a first of its kind in the country, Jamia Millia Islamia has set up a National Resource Centre on Foster Care (NRCFC) to train foster care workers who will in turn train parents to take better care of children.
NRCFC will work under the aegis of the Jamia’s Centre for Early Childhood Development and Research (CECDR) in collaboration with the UK-based NGO Rainbow Fostering which will provide technical know-how and expertise to take this novel concept forward. JMI and Rainbow Fostering, UK have recently signed a MoU in this regard.
The announcement was made at the two-day International Symposium on “Family Strengthening: Deconstructing Alternative Practices in the Current Legislative Framework” presided over by Prof Talat Ahmad, Vice Chancellor, JMI today.
Prof Ahmad said that the university will provide space and other infrastructure required to run NRCFC.The mandate of the newly set-up NRCFC is to train people in foster care by organizing workshops, seminars and round tables. The Centre will also run a certificate course on the subject.
Ms Stuti Kacker, IAS and Chairperson, National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) in her inaugural address said that fostering a child was not the same as adopting a child. Fostering was a new concept in India and requires a lot of discussion and deliberation before it is formalised, she added.
“We need the formalise it to protect the right of the child and to prevent them from any possible abuse.” Ms. Kacker said.
Mr. Aijaz Ahmad who is also an alumnus of JMI and CEO of Rainbow Fostering, UK said that “India was blessed with the values of compassion, altruism, self-sacrifice and generosity which many Western societies lack. However, for economic and other reasons we have not made the kind of progress that we should have by now. This is where my concept of fostering children for a better nation’ will become a vital pre-cursor to nation building.”
The symposium is taking up important themes including- ‘Alternative Care – Setting the Context’ and ‘Family Strengthening, Adoption and Foster Care in the Indian Context’ in which experts from the UK, USA are . Foster parents too are participating in the two day deliberations. Key NGOs and Govt officials are also among the participants.