India: The Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS): A centrally Sponsored Scheme of Government-Civil Society Partnership

The Indian Ministry of Women and Child Development

In early 2006 the Department of Women and Child Development became a full-fledged Ministry (the Ministry of Women and Child Development) and all child protection matters were transferred to this new Ministry, including implementation of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000, and its Amendment Act, 2006. The same year the Ministry proposed the adoption of an Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS), which was adopted and launched by the central government in 2009-2010. Recognizing chronic under funding of child protection services in the country and major gaps in the system, the ICPS was expected to significantly contribute to the realization of Government/State responsibility by creating a system that would effectively and effectively protect children.

The scheme is implemented through State level Governments, which receive financial and technical support from the central government. Of particular relevance to children without adequate parental care, the ICPS specifically articulates the need to move away from over-reliance on institutional care and towards responses that support family based care, starting from interventions and policies that would strengthen “the family capabilities to care for and protect the child” to providing a range of family based alternatives, “including sponsorship, kinship care, foster care and adoption.”