District-level committees formed for children affected by COVID-19
Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday constituted a task force in each district of the union territory for providing care and protection to children infected and affected by COVID-19.
An order issued by the Commissioner Secretary of the General Administration Department said the committees would comprise seven members in each district.
As per the order, the committees will be headed by respective district development commissioners.
The chief medical officer, additional superintendent of police, district social welfare officer and the chairman of the child welfare committee will be its members.
The district child protection officer will be the member secretary of the committees, the order read.
The task force will provide care and protection to children infected by COVID-19 or having parents who have contracted the disease.
The order stated that the committees will compile details of all adults who have died due to COVID-19 and find out any children orphaned or in need of care and protection.
These committees “produce such children before the Child Welfare Committee, which shall decide their rehabilitation such as adoption, foster care, sponsorship, etc., and institutionalisation as the last resort as per the provisions of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015,” it said.
The order said the committees will place such children in temporary shelters, whose parents are undergoing COVID-19 treatment and are left without relative(s) or guardian(s) to take necessary care.
The committees will provide psychological and counselling support to children infected/affected due to COVID-19 as well as children of COVID-infected/affected parents.
These committees will also “ensure timely referral of children infected with COVID-19 to treatment centres along with ensuring their nutritional support during post treatment period and to identify and design one registered childcare institution in each district and make arrangements for such institutions as COVID care centres exclusively for children,” the order read.
The government ordered that the district-level task force should meet every week, and as and when required, for providing intervention programmes for care and protection of these children.
The district collector shall be responsible for conveying the meeting of the task force and submit a status report once in 15 days to the government, the order read.