PM CARES For Children scheme to give monthly stipend from age of 18 years and Rs 10 lakh on attaining 23 years
New Delhi, October 8, 2021
The Ministry of Women and Child Development has issued guidelines for the PM CARES for Children scheme as part of the comprehensive support for children who have lost both their parents due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
The objective of the scheme is to ensure comprehensive care and protection of children, enable their well-being through health insurance, empower them through education and equip them for self-sufficient existence with financial support on reaching 23 years of age.
The PM CARES for children scheme inter alia provides support to these children through a convergent approach, gap funding for ensuring education, health, monthly stipend from the age of 18 years and lump sum amount of Rs 10 lakh on attaining 23 years of age, an official press release said.
The eligible children will be enrolled from 29.05.2021 which is the date of announcement by the Prime Minister to 31.12.2021 to avail benefits of the PM CARES for Children Scheme. The Scheme is expected to continue till the year when every identified beneficiary shall turn 23 years of age.
The eligibility criterion for the scheme will cover all children who have lost both parents or a surviving parent or legal guardian/adoptive parents/single adoptive parent due to COVID 19 pandemic, starting from 11.03.2020 the date on which WHO has declared and characterized COVID-19 as pandemic till 31.12.2021. The child should not have completed 18 years of age on the date of death of parents
The entitlements under the scheme include support for boarding and lodging. Efforts will be made by the District Magistrate with the assistance of the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) to explore the possibility of rehabilitating the child within her/his extended family.
If the extended family is not available or not found fit by CWC, the child should be placed in foster care, after due diligence as prescribed under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 and rules made thereof as amended from time to time.
If the Foster family is not available/not willing /not found fit by CWC, or the child (aged 4 -10 years or above) is not willing to live with them, the child should be placed in an age-appropriate and gender-appropriate Child Care Institution (CCI).
Children more than 10 years old, not received by extended families or relatives or foster families or not willing to live with them or living in child care institutions after the demise of parents should be enrolled in Netaji Subhash Chand Bose Awasiya Vidyalaya, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya, Eklavya Model Schools, Sainik School, Navodaya Vidyalaya, or any other residential school by the District Magistrate, subject to the respective scheme guidelines.
It may be ensured that siblings stay together, as far as possible, the release said.
For non-institutional care, financial support at the prevailing rates prescribed under the Child Protection Services (CPS) scheme shall be provided to children (in account with guardian). For the child in institutional care, a maintenance grant at the prevailing rates prescribed under the CPS scheme shall be given to Child Care Institutions. Any provision for subsistence support under the State scheme may also be provided additionally to the children.