Seven children under state care were put into foster families in 2017, the gender ministry said Sunday, in a double first for the Maldives.
Foster care is new to the country and it is the first time that the legal guardianship of children will be transferred through court, as well as the first time that children have been placed with foster families.
The seven children were placed with families who had applied to be foster carers in 2017 and 2016.
Seven applications were submitted in 2017 out of which one was rejected and another was withdrawn. Two are still being considered.
The remaining applicants from last year, and four applicants from previous years, were approved by the foster panel. It was the first time foster carers have been approved since the panel was set up in 2016. .
The children are aged between one month and three years.
The foster panel’s annual report also said the legal guardianship of the children would be transferred to the foster parents.
Under the reintegration policy, 20 children who were under state care were returned to their families in 2017 following assessments.
The panel said it ensured the families who wished to take back their children were capable of taking care of them.
There are more than 80 children under state care at orphanages in Villimalé and Hulhumalé: Kudakudhinge Hiyaa and Fiyavathi.