The government accorded sanction to the constitution of District Level Task Forces for providing care and protection to children infected by Covid-19 as well as children of Covid-19 infected parents in Jammu and Kashmir.
An official spokesman in a statement issued here said that these bodies would place such children in temporary shelters, whose parents are undergoing Covid-19 treatment and are left without relatives or guardians to take necessary care.
The spokesman said that they should also provide psychological and counselling support to children infected and affected due to Covid-19 as well as children of Covid-infected and affected parents.
As per the GAD Order No 495, the task force to be constituted in every district of J&K should comprise District Magistrate as chairperson, District Child Protection Officer as member secretary, Chief Medical Officer, Additional Superintendent of Police, District Social Welfare Officer, Chairperson of Child Welfare Committee or in his or her absence any member of the committee and an NGO running a child care institution nominated by the District Magistrate as its members.
As per the order issued by the Commissioner Secretary to the Government Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, the terms of references of the task forces should be to compile details of all adults who died due to Covid-19 and find out any orphaned children or children in need of care and protection.
According to the order, the District Task Force should produce such children before the Child Welfare Committee which should decide their rehabilitation such as adoption, foster care, sponsorship and institutionalisation as the last resort as per the provisions of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
It said that the task force should place such children in temporary shelters, whose parents are undergoing Covid-19 treatment and are left without relatives or guardians to take necessary care. The order states that the task force should provide psychological and counselling support to children infected and affected due to Covid-19 as well as children of Covid-infected and affected parents.
As per the order, the task force shoulr ensure timely referral of children infected with Covid-19 to treatment centres along with ensuring their nutritional support during post-treatment period.
It said that they should identify and design one registered child care institution in each district and make arrangements for such institutions as Covid Care Centres exclusively for children.