Family Fostering Committee

Last updated: 
26/06/2013

Implementation of the fostering procedures and follow up of families and fostered children.

 

Objectives:

  1. To supervise and follow up the completion of the family fostering procedures.
  2. To study the fostering applications and study the cases of applicant families to ensure that they meet the set conditions as per the Home’s Internal Regulation.
  3. To complete the necessary fostering procedures with the other concerned authorities.
  4. To follow up the issuance of official documents for the fostered children.
  5. To follow up children in their new environments with foster families.
  6. To supervise and follow up children to make sure that they adapt well with the foster family and integrate into the new surroundings, and work to overcome the difficulties that may encounter such adaptation and integration.
  7. To coordinate with various bodies to offer facilities for fostered children regarding academic, professional and other aspects.
  8. To solve the problems and overcome the obstacles they face and find the appropriate solutions.
  9. To benefit from various media to raise awareness and inform people about fostering and encourage them towards it.
  10. To hold meetings and lectures for counselling and guidance for foster families on how to deal with fostered children.
  11. To provide advice and assistance for families who have fostered children from outside the Home, and complete the necessary procedures for issuing the required official documents and papers.
  12. To monitor the phenomenon of children exposed to negligence and physical and psychological abuse, and to provide them with the necessary welfare and legislative protection measures in coordination with other competent authorities.
  13. To examine the requests for housing children from shattered families and orphans to ensure the fulfilment of the acceptance conditions as provided in the Internal Regulations.
  14. To follow up the development of shattered families’ condition and contribute to overcoming their problems.

 

Fostering Conditions and Procedures

 

First: Fostering Conditions:

  • To be a Bahraini Muslim family.
  • To be a family consisting of good, morally and socially mature couple.
  • To be free of contagious diseases and mental disorders that pose a threat to the fostered child.
  • To be of age not less than 25 years and no more than 50 years.
  • To be financially able to take care of the fostered child.
  • To be a couple of good conduct and reputation, and have never been judged either for a criminal offense or misdemeanour involving moral turpitude, dishonesty or public morals, unless he/she has been rehabilitated.
  • To be residing within the borders of Bahrain so as to enable the Ministry employees to follow up the child's affairs.
  • A foster family may be excepted from one of these conditions when advised by the Fostering Committee and subject to the approval of the Minister of Social Affairs.

 

Second: Foster Family’s Obligations

  • Look after the child, fulfil his living needs, and provide him with health, psychological and social care.
  • Enrol the child in a school, follow up his academic acquisition, provide guidance, and cooperate with the school in all matters relating to him.
  • Guide and educate the child religiously, nationally and morally according to the teachings of the Islamic religion and morals observed in the country.
  • Follow up the changes that may affect the health, psychological and academic conditions of the child and notify the Department of Social Welfare thereof, cooperate with those responsible for the family fostering in following up and assisting the child and working on solving the problems he may face.
  • Notify the Department of Social Welfare when changing the place of residence inside or outside the Kingdom of Bahrain.
  • The foster family/custodian undertakes to coordinate with the Family Fostering Committee in case the child’s parentage is known to them.
  • The foster family/custodian shall comply with the decisions and measures issued by the Ministry of Social Development with respect to the care of fostered child, and they may not show objection in case a decision is issued to return the fostered child to his real family when the latter requests so.
  • The foster family/custodian shall sign a child fostering agreement and undertake to comply with all its provisions as well as what is stipulated in the Family Fostering Law.

 

Third: Family Fostering Committee’s Terms of Reference:

  • Develop a policy for the family fostering system to ensure the provision of care and sound upbringing for the fostered children and fulfilment of their needs.
  • Study the research and recommendations that relate to family fostering issues and adopt them in case they aim to enhance family fostering and maintain the interest of the fostered child.
  • Accept or reject applications of those requesting family fostering.
  • Cancel the family fostering decision in accordance with the provisions of Article (5) of law.
  • Coordinate the services of the Ministry and other administrative bodies operating in the field of providing care for children of unknown father or parents, orphans, or those of similar circumstances and need someone to look after them.
  • Determine the validity of the custodian in case the marital relationship of the foster family comes to an end.
  • State the name of the child of unknown father or parents in accordance with Article (7) of law.
  • Examine the reports submitted with respect to the problems faced by children in the foster families and develop plans to address them.
  • Determine whether to grant or withhold subsidies and bonuses for foster families.

 

Fourth: Fostering Procedures and Termination

(A) Fostering Procedures:

Those applying for fostering should submit a written application to the Department of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation at the Ministry of Social Development, along with the required documents indicating the fulfilment of the conditions provided for by law.

 

1. The Department of Social Welfare shall do a research on the family status from all respects to ensure that they meet the required conditions, and shall attach all the required documents to the research.

 

2. The fostering applications and social and economic research conducted on the custodian and his family to verify the data contained in the application supported by family-related documents shall be submitted to the Family Fostering Committee for review to decide whether to accept or reject the application. The foster family shall be informed about the decision within two weeks from the date of the issuance thereof.

 

3. Families whose application has been rejected may appeal against the rejection decision within two weeks from the date of notification by a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt. In the event of rejection, a statement of the reasons relied upon by the Committee for such rejection shall be provided.

 

4. Anyone whose application has been rejected may appeal against such decision to the Minister of Social Affairs within a period no later than thirty days from the date of being notified of such decision, provided the appeal shall be decided on within thirty days from the date of submitting it. The Minister's decision shall be final.

 

5. In case the application is accepted by the Family Fostering Committee, the child shall be handed over to the foster family after they sign an agreement stating the fostering conditions.

 

6. The Family Fostering Committee shall contact the concerned authorities in the country to issue all the papers and identity-related documents for the child, such as the birth certificate, CPR card, passport, etc.

 

(B) Fostering Termination

The Committee shall make a decision to withdraw the fostered child from the custodian based on the social research conducted in this regard and shall place him in the Child Welfare Home. Moreover, it shall take the required legal procedures in the following cases:

  1. The death of foster parents; the death of the custodian and his wife requests so formally; the death of the custodian’s wife or their divorce and there is no one else to be entrusted to look after the child in the foster family.
  2. The child suffers neglect or abuse.
  3. The foster family does not cooperate or respond to the instructions of the Family Fostering Committee.
  4. The foster family is not willing to continue to take care of the child as perceived by the Family Fostering Committee.
  5. The foster family’s misconduct and shameful behaviour.
  6. The appearance of one or both of the child’s parents provided the child’s best interest is taken into account as determined by the Family Fostering Committee.

 

Fifth: Supervision and Follow-up Procedures:

 

- The Ministry of Social Development shall have the right to supervise and follow up the fostered children. This right continues to exist for the duration of fostering and until the fostered child reaches the age of majority.

 

- The foster family shall inform the Ministry of Social Development of any change in their social status or place of residence, and any changes or conditions that may affect the fostered child.

 

- The follow-up visits to the foster family shall be determined according to the age of the fostered child and his adaptability with the family. These visits shall be intensified if it is found that there is a problem and this will continue until the condition of both the child and family become stable.

 

- The social worker shall supervise the fostered child and follow up the care provided to him by the foster family. The social worker shall pay visits as follows:

  • Once a week in the first month.
  • Once a month during the first year after the first month.

 

- In cases where it is established that the child adapts with the foster family that provide him with good care during the first year, visits shall be paid once every three months during the second year and shall be reduced to once every six months thereafter.

 

- After each visit to the fostered child, the social worker shall submit a report on the condition of the fostered child, how he adapts with the foster family and how the family takes care of him, along with any notes taken by the social worker, if any.

 

- In case it is found that there is a problem facing the child in the foster family, the child shall be followed up weekly until it is made sure that the child’s condition has become stable with himself, his family and his school. A report on the case shall be kept in the child’s file.


 

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