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Foster homes in need of legal framework

Update: November, 02/2015 - 18:09
In light of the upcoming National Assembly discussion of the revised law on the protection, care and education of children, experts voiced their support for the establishment of a foster home system, which may receive financial assistance from the State's budget. — Photo quangninh.gov.vn

HA NOI (VNS) — Foster families may offer significantly improved living standards and comfort to orphans, with some financial assistance from the State, compared to social support centres, according to childcare experts.

While the majority of these children were often cared for by their relatives, a large number of children still ended up being sent to social support centres, which cannot offer a family atmosphere and are very expensive to maintain.

Nguyen Trong An, deputy head of the Research and Training Centre for Community Development (RTCCD), said hundreds of billions of dong were required every year to maintain these social support centres.

At the same time, many childless families, who were both willing and capable of assisting these children, were still not allowed to do so, under current regulations.

In light of the upcoming National Assembly discussion of the revised law on the protection, care and education of children, experts voiced their support for the establishment of a foster home system, which may receive financial assistance from the State's budget.

"There have been cases in which the money was reportedly stolen before it could reach the needy children at those centres," An said. "Directly providing money to the foster homes could be a solution."

An said there were working models around the world, such as the Russian city of Saint Petersburg, which started providing foster care in 2009 to children whose parents, for numerous reasons, were unable to take care of them.

Ideally, the children should be assigned to relatives. When this is not possible, non-related caregivers may be chosen, or the children may be adopted by other families. Only in extreme cases, where none of these options are applicable, should a child be sent to a social centre.

The revised law on the protection, care and education of children was expected to provide a legal framework for a community-based foster care system that aimed to provide unfortunate children with a family environment while they are growing up.— VNS


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