Child Welfare Committee
In accordance with the provisions under section-29 of the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, 2000 and its amendment in the year 2006 read with rule-24 of the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Orissa Rules, 2002 and its amendment in the year 2009, the State Government constitute Child Welfare Committees in districts time to time, for exercising the powers & to discharge duties, conferred on such committees in relation to Children in Need of Care & Protection under this Act and Rule.
As per section-31 of the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, the Committee shall have the final authority to dispose of cases for the care, protection, treatment, development and rehabilitation of the children as well as to provide for their basic needs and protection of human rights. Where a Committee has been constituted for any area, such Committee shall, notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force but save as otherwise expressly provided in this Act, have the power to deal exclusively with all proceedings under this Act relating to children in need of care and protection.
As per Rule-25A of the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Orissa Rules, the committee shall perform the following functions, namely:-
1. Take cognizance of and receive children produced before the Committee.
2. Decide on the matters brought before the Committee.
3. Reach out to such children in need of care and protection who are not in a position to be produced before the Committee, being in difficult circumstances, with support from the District Child Protection Unit or State Child Protection Unit or the State Government.
4. Conduct necessary inquiry on all issues relating to and affecting the safety and well-being of the child.
5. Direct the Child Welfare Officers or Probation Officers or non-governmental organisations to conduct social inquiry and submit a report to the Committee.
6. Ensure necessary care and protection, including immediate shelter.
7. Ensure appropriate rehabilitation and restoration, including passing necessary directions to parents or guardians or fit persons or fit institutions in this regard, in addition to follow-up and coordination with District Child Protection Unit or State Adoption Resource Agency and other agencies.
8. Direct the Officer-in-charge of children's homes to receive children requiring shelter and care.
9. Document and maintain detailed case record along with a case summary of every case dealt by the Committee.
10. Provide a child-friendly environment for children.
11. Recommend 'fit institutions' to the State Government for the care and protection of children.
12. Declare 'fit persons'.
13. Declare a child legally free for adoption.
14. Keep information about and take necessary follow-up action in respect of missing children in their jurisdiction.
15. Maintain liaison with the Board in respect of cases needing care and protection.
16. Visit each institution where children are sent for care and protection or adoption at least once in three months to review the condition of children in institutions, with support of the State Government and suggest necessary action.
17. Monitor associations and agencies within their jurisdiction that deal with children in order to check on the exploitation and abuse of children.
18. Co-ordinate with the Police, Labour Department and other agencies involved in the care and protection of children with the support of District Child Protection Unit or State Child Protection Unit or State Government.
19. Liaison and network with the corporate sector and non-governmental organisations for any of the above, including for social inquiry, restoration and rehabilitation, as and when required.
20. Maintain a suggestion box to encourage inputs from children and adults alike and take necessary action.