The Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS), a centrally sponsored Scheme, with the primary aim of establishing a safety net of dedicated and quality personnel, structures and services for Child Protection across the country, was approved for implementation on 26th of February, 2009.
The Scheme translates into programmes, the vision of a secure environment for all children, as envisaged in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, wherein their rights are ensured so that they can develop to their full potential.
PURPOSE OF ICPS:
The Integrated Child Protection Scheme is expected to significantly contribute to the realization of Government/State responsibility for creating a system that will efficiently and effectively protect children. It is based on cardinal principles of “protection of child rights” and “best interest of the child”.
OBJECTIVES OF ICPS:
The objectives of ICPS are to contribute to the improvements 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. These will be achieved by:
Introduced and operational evidence based monitoring and evaluation.
Government – Civil Society Partnership
In order to reach out to all children, in particular to those in difficult circumstances, the Ministry of Women and Child Development proposes to combine its existing child protection schemes under one centrally sponsored scheme titled ICPS. ICPS will function as a Government- Civil Society Partnership scheme under the overarching direction and responsibility of the Central and State Governments. ICPS will work closely with all stakeholders including government departments, the voluntary sector, community groups, academia, and most importantly, families and children to create protective environment for children in the country.
The Government of India (GOI) will have the primary responsibility for the development and funding of the scheme as well as ensuring flexibility by cutting down rigid structures and norms. The GOI will also create an integrated, live, wed-based database on children including child tracking systems and a Management Information System. It will be the responsibility of the State Governments/UT Administrations to ensure effective implementation of the scheme by quick devolution and utilization of the funds.
CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATION & INDIVIDUALS
It includes Voluntary Sector, Research and Training Institutions, Media and Advocacy groups, Community groups, local leaders, Volunteers, youth groups, families and children. To provide protective and conducive environment for children, to act as watchdog and monitor child protection services by inter-alia participating in the village and block level child protection committees.
The statutory mechanisms, as per the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 and Amendment Act, 2006, are as follows:
Depending on the size of the district, population, and number of children, one or more of these can be established in a district.
Child Welfare Committee
Child Welfare Committee (CWC) are to be set up in every district as per the provisions of the JJ Amendment Act, 2006, as the competent authority to deal with children who are in need of care and protection, and provide for their proper care, protection, treatment, development and rehabilitation.
Juvenile Justice Board
Juvenile Justice Boards are to be set up by the State Government in every district as per provisions of the JJ Amendment Act, 2006, as the competent authority to deal with matters relating to children in conflict with law.
State Juvenile Police Unit
The Police have a crucial role to play in the JJ System as they form the first point of contact with the child. Special Juvenile Police Units (SJPUs) are to be set up to handle matters concerned with children in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection.
The SJPU shall consist of a Juvenile or Child Welfare Officer of the rank of Police Inspector and two paid Social Workers having experience in working with children of which one shall be a woman. Every police station shall designate one officer as the ‘Juvenile’ or ‘Child Welfare Officer’ who has the aptitude, appropriate training and orientation to deal appropriately with children.