The Ministry of Women and Child Development Government of india (MWCD, GOI) extended 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, in partnership with the State Government, 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, 2015; 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 responsibility for creating a system that 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, GOI and Government of West Bengal on 11th December, 2009.
Notification of SCPS, WB, DCPUs and SARA was done in 2010.
Registration of SCPS, WB was done in 2010.
DCPUs are functional in all 23 districts as on 31st March 2021
SJPUs are functional in all 23 districts as on 31st March 2021
Childline became functional in 23 districts as on 31st March 2021
About State Child Protection Society (SCPS, WB), West Bengal
SCPS, WB is the State level Society under ICPS established in 2010. SCPS, WB became fully functional during 2013-2014.
Presently, SCPS, WB is headed by Dr. Shashi Panja, Hon'ble Minister In-Charge of Women & Child Development and Social Welfare and run by the Executive Committee and the Governing Body.
Smt. Sanghamitra Ghosh, IAS, Secretary, Women & Child Development and Social Welfare Department of Government of West Bengal is the Executive Chairperson.
Senior Officials of Allied/ Line Departments of Government of West Bengal, NGOs, Experts are members of SCPS, WB Governing body and Executive Committee.
Smt. Nilanjana Dasgupta, IAS, Director of Child Rights and Trafficking, WB is the Member Secretary of SCPS, WB.
As mandated in ICPS Guidelines, SCPS, WB 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, WB is monitoring their functioning through monthly and quarterly progress reports. SCPS, WB monitors all programmes, institutions/agencies housing children in the State.
Under Institutional Care, Child Care Institutions (CCIs) have being registered under Sec. 41 of the JJ Act 2015 by SCPS, WB. At present, 19 Government run CCIs and 52 NGO run CCIs are functional in the State. More CCIs are applying for registration and the process is regulated by SCPS, WB.
ICPS is being implemented in 23 districts through the District Child Protection Units (DCPU). Annual Project Implementation Plan (APIP) is drawn up by SCPS, WB 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, GOI for sanction.
SCPS, WB co-ordinates and supervises all training and capacity building programmes in the State. In the last three Financial Years, SCPS, WB 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, WB.
Activities and achievements of SCPS, WB
After Care Services for reintegration of young adults (18-21 years) have been initiated.
Foster Care Guidelines are being finalised in the State.
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 3. 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.