Bangladesh government to develop foster care system for children with autism

Dhaka, Bangladesh — The Bangladesh government is planning to develop a foster care system for children with autism in the country, as well as those with other neurodevelopmental disabilities, according to health ministry sources.

According to reports, the government’s plan of organizing the foster care system is in line with its goal of helping children with disabilities contribute to the country’s socio-economic status.

The government’s ambitious plan aims to involve ‘wards’, group homes, ‘private homes’, and state-certified caregivers as ‘foster parents’ in the care of children with developmental disabilities who no longer have families.

The plan puts the Bangladesh government— through its family courts and child protection agency— in loco parentis to the children involved in the program, with it being responsible for all legal decisions involving the children; while the ‘foster parents’ are expected to take charge of the children’s day to day care. Institutions and individuals who stand as ‘foster parents’ to the children in the program will be compensated by the government for the expenses involved in caring for the children.

The health ministry source also added that along with its grand plan for a foster care system, the Bangladesh government also plans to provide schools for children on the autism spectrum, which they hope to integrate in over 100 of its disabled service and help centers located in every district across the country.

The Bangladesh government still has no data on the number of individuals with autism in the country, but is said to have already started a survey to obtain an estimate.

Source: Unb, Dhaka on the Daily Star:  Foster care for autistic children in offing