J&K govt sets up Task Force to identify, provide care to COVID-19 affected children

Srinagar, June 7: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday ordered constitution of District Level Task Force in each district for providing care and protection to COVID-19 affected children on the UT.

As per an order issued by the General Administration Department, the Task Force will be headed by the respective DCs while the CMO, Additional Superintendent of police, District Social Welfare Officer, District Child Protection Officer, Chairperson of the respective Child Welfare Committee or in his absence any other member of the committee and an NGO running a child care institution nominated by the respective District Magistrate.

The group has been tasked to primarily compile details of all adults who have died due to COVID-19 and find out any children orphaned or children in need of care and protection.

It has also been asked to produce such children before the Child Welfare Committee which shall decide their rehabilitation such as adoption, foster care, sponsorship etc and institutionalization as the last resort as per the provisions of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.

The Task Force has also been asked to place such children in temporary shelters, whose parents are undergoing COVID-19 treatment and are left without relative(s) or guardian to take necessary care.

Other responsibilities of the respective Task Force comprise: To provide psychological and counseling support to children infected/affected due to COVID-19 as well as children of COVID infected/affected parents.

To ensure timely referral of children infected with COVID-19 to treatment centers alongwith ensuring their nutritional support during post treatment period.

To identify and design one registered child care institution in each district and make arrangements for such institutions as COVID care centers exclusively for children.

The District Level Task Force has been asked to meet every week and as and when required for providing intervention programmes for care and protection of these children.

The respective District Collector shall be responsible for convening the meeting of the Task Force and shall submit a status report once in every 15 days to the government.

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