The Social Justice Department initiated Sanadha Balyam in April 2007 to facilitate the adoption of children from around 1,400 recognised orphanages in the State. The scheme aims at providing fostercare placement for orphaned or abandoned children and its major achievement has been that child-care centres in the State now know what to do with the adoptable children they shelter.
A good number of such children have been adopted by eligible families since the start of the programme. Databases of adoptable children in every district have also been compiled. The programme’s vision is ensuring a healthy and joyful family life to every orphan, destitute and abandoned child. Its mission is getting all such children out of institutions and controlling the social factors that lead to destitution. It aims to do this through strict enforcement of the provisions laid down under the Juvenile Justice Act and Orphanages and Other Charitable Home (Supervision and Control) Act.
• Preparing a database of adoptable children in all government and non-governmental institutions.
• Preparing the institutionalized children for adoption or foster care placement.
• Organizing adoption awareness programmes in each district and sensitizing all key functionaries and departments.
• Identification of care givers (temporary foster mothers, sponsors) at the panchayat level and declaring them as fit under the Juvenile Justice Act.
• Capacity building for care givers with the help of social work institutions.
• Identification of adoptive parents and preparing them for adoption.
• Online registration and matching of children with prospective adoptive parents and familiarization procedures.
• Placement of children and follow-up action.
• Enlisting all adoptable children in institutions with adoption co-ordination agencies (ACAs) and disseminating the data among all placement agencies.
• Identification of all illegal child care centres and prosecution under the Orphanage and Other Charitable Home (Supervision and Control) Act and Juvenile Justice Act.
• Identification of sponsors at the panchayat level and strengthening at-risk families by providing a support system for the child in need of care and protection.