The Ministry of Women and Child Development, (MWCD) extends its commitment of the XI plan for creating a solid foundation for a protective environment for 40 per cent of India’s vulnerable children who are experiencing difficult circumstances, by continuing the Centrally Sponsored Scheme - the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) in XII plan. The Scheme, since its launch in 2009, in partnership with the State Governments/UT Administrations, has strengthened prevention of child rights violation; enhanced infrastructure for protection services; provided financial support for implementation of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000; increased access to a wider range and better quality of services; increased investment in child protection and is continuously drawing focus on the right of children to be safe.
The Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) has significantly contributed to the realization of Government/State responsibility for creating a system that will efficiently and effectively protect children. Based on cardinal principles of “protection of child rights” and “best interest of the child”, ICPS is achieving its objectives of contributing to the improvement in the well being of children in difficult circumstances, as well as to the reduction of vulnerabilities to situations and actions that lead to abuse, neglect, exploitation, abandonment and separation of children from their families.
Background of ICPS in West Bengal
Mou signed between MWCD and Government of West Bengal on: 11th December, 2009.
Notification of SCPS, DCPU, SARA was done in 2010.
Registration of SCPS was done in 2010.
DCPU was formed in 19 districts in 2010 (The 20th district, Alipurduar, was formed in November, 2014)
SJPU was formed in 19 districts in 2010.
Childline became functional in 19 districts since 2013
About State Child Protection Society (SCPS), West Bengal
SCPS is the State level structure under ICPS. Established in 2010, it was run by the government officials till 2012. Most of the contractual staff joined in January, 2013 and SCPS became fully functional after that.
SCPS is headed by Dr. Shashi Panja, the Minister-in-Charge, WCD&SW and run by the Executive Committee and the Governing Body.
Ms. Roshni Sen, Secretary, WCD & SW is the Executive Chairperson .
Senior officials of Allied /Line Departments, NGOs, Experts are members of SCPS Governing body and Executive Committee.
As mandated in ICPS Guidelines, SCPS is responsible for implementation of ICPS and other child protection policies and programmes at the State level. It ensures setting up and functioning of Structures and Statutory Bodies. Child Welfare Committees (CWC) and Juvenile Justice Boards (JJB) are functional in all districts and SCPS is monitoring their functioning through monthly and quarterly progress reports. SCPS monitors all programmes, institutions/agencies housing children in the State.
Under institutional care, Child Care Institutes (CCIs) are being registered by SCPS. At present, 19 Government run CCIs and 35 NGO run CCIs are functional in the State. More CCIs are applying for registration and the process is regulated by SCPS.
ICPS is being implemented in the 20 districts through the District Child Protection Units (DCPU). Annual Project Implementation Plan (APIP) is drawn up by SCPS on the basis of PIPs received from the DCPUs. The APIP is then placed before the Project Sanctioning Committee (PSC) for approval. After PSC approval, the plan is approved by the Executive Committee and the Governing Body. The APIP which includes the budget is then placed before the Project Advisory Board (PAB) under MWCD for sanction.
SCPS co-ordinates and supervises all training and capacity building programmes in the State. In the last three Financial Years, SCPS has organized workshops and training programmes for CWCs, members of JJBs, CCIs, DCPOs, and other staff of DCPUs. These programmes were organized in collaboration with Unicef, Save the Children and other reputed NGO partners.
Under non- institutional care, domestic and inter-country adoption is being regulated by State Adoption Resource Agency (SARA), West Bengal under supervision of Central Adoption Resource Authority. As per ICPS guidelines, Sponsorship and Foster Care Approval Committees (SFCAC) have been formed in the districts. Rehabilitative Sponsorship scheme has rolled out in the districts. The Model Foster Care Guidelines have been circulated in the districts and the Foster Care programme will soon be initiated by SCPS.
Activities and achievements of SCPS
Aftercare services for reintegration of young adults (18-21 years) have been initiated.
Foster Care Guidelines have been circulated in the districts.
Co –ordination meetings have been organized in clusters with DCPU, CWC, JJB, SJPU and DLSA.
Infrastructural development in GO and NGO Homes have been undertaken.
Doctors have been provided by IMA in the Homes for regular health check- up of children.
Special efforts have been made by the Department and the CCIs to provide formal education and Vocational Training to children
Regular Video Conference is being organized with DSWOs, DCPOs and Home Superintendents to discuss ICPS related issues.
CPCs have been formed at Block, Ward and Gram Samsad levels.
Capacity building programme of all stakeholders is being undertaken on a regular basis.
Web based child protection Management Information System is being maintained through the TrackCHILD 2.0 portal.
- Intra and Inter-State restoration and Cross border repatriation of children is being done on a regular basis. The process is facilitated by West Bengal Task Force which is meant for rescue, restoration, repatriation and integration of Trafficked victims.The WBTF has also a SOP with Bangladesh for safe repatriation of Bangladeshi children.
SARA regulates,supervises,implements and monitors the adoption process in the state .It has undertaken regular meeting ,capacity building programmes,sensitisation workshops etc. for all 24(Twenty Four) Specialised Adoption Agencies .
Convergent efforts are being made to prevent child trafficking under the leadership of Department of Women and Child Development and Social Welfare and Directorate of Child Rights and Trafficking