Temporary Foster Parents Wanted
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The Community Development Department, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports has introduced a new scheme called the Temporary Fostering Scheme. The fostering sceheme is meant for teenagers and children under 18 years old as stipulated under the Children and Young Persons Act 2006. The children and young persons are:-
(1) Children who are given protection by the department because of domestic violence and abandonment by family members;
(2) Children whose mothers are incapable of looking after them because the mothers are being protected at the welfare homes due to personal or family problems. These include children who are born from incestual relationship;
(3) Children whose parents are incapalbe of looking after them due to the parents' personal problems such as health, poverty etc;
(4) Children whose parental rights have not yet been determined by the court due to divorce proceedings.
(5) Children whose parents are separated due to religious differences such as one of the parents have converted to Islam;
(6) Children whose mother or parents have disappeared;
(7) Children who are orphans (losing both parents);
(8) Children or teenagers whose family are problematic and requires family care;
(9) And any other category which may be considered fit under the scheme.
The Temporary Fostering Scheme is introduced as one of the ways to ensure the harmony and the welfare of children who needed them in this country. Based on the current situation, the Community Development Department has found that there is a need for such a scheme to be introduced especially with a number of familes facing problems in this country. For example, there is a case where the court has decided that a one year old child be placed in the Children Welfare Home because the mother is found unfit to look after the child because of her illness. Due to the uncertain nature of such problem, the child may have to stay for a long time at the welfare home. This may affect the child's growth. Staying at such institute is very much different from a normal family life. A family life can provide a much better environment and give tender loving care to a child compared to the formal surrounding of an institution.
At the same time, the department also found that there are children who are in need of protection and care due to the parental problems such as poverty, divorce, domestic violence, abondonment and death. These required those children to stay at the welfare homes. So to help the children cope and for their sake especially from the psychological point of view, it would be much better if the children can stay with a foster family who can play the role of the parents to them and to look after them temporarily.
REQUIREMENTS TO BE FOSTER PARENTS
There are several criterias that needed to be fulfilled before one can become a foster parent from those who are interested. It is hoped that the physical, spiritual and emotional development of the children will be looked after especially to form a perfect and courteous personality.
The main criterias are:
(a) The couple must be man and wife;
(b) Both are Brunei citizens and Muslims;
(c) The adults must be 'mukalaf' - competent people;
(d) Physically and mentally capable;
(e) The wife must be a home maker (if she is working, there must be a maid);
(f) The couple do not have any children under the age of 3;
(g) The couple does not suffer from any contagious illnesses;
(h) The couple have sufficient income and capable of looking after the child;
(i) The couple must be loving and caring.
HOW TO APPLY
Application can be handed in to the Director of Community Development Department.
Every couple must fill in the relevant Temporary Fostering for Children Application Form prepared by the Community Development Department.
Applicants will be contacted for an interview session.
PROCESS OF TEMPORARY FOSTERING APPLICATION
Every application received will be investigated by the Community Development Department.
Once the department is satisfied, the Community Development Department will submit the application to the court so that the court can issue and order that for the couple to be temporary fostering parents for a particular child;
The couple will then be contacted.
The couple will be asked to come to the deparment to bring the child home.
REMINDER TO FOSTER PARENTS
The couple is reminded that they can only look after the child temporarily. They must return to child back to the child's family or whoever is appointed by the court to look after the child permanently.
If the couple is interested in adopting the children permanently, they are required to submit a separate application through an approved process used in Brunei.