New standards have been drafted for children who are under protective care, who for some reason are not in their parent’s custody, and live either in a children’s home or with foster families. The standards have the aim of ensuring that children are given the care and attention they deserve.
The two sets of Regulatory Social Standards have been launched for public consultation to ensure that the interests of the children in protective care are protected.
The Chief Executive of the Social Care Standards Authority Matthew Vella explained that in Malta there are around 400 children who live in protective care, with almost half of them living in residential homes while others live with foster families.
”Now we have a document which will be given to professionals so that they will know, in a tangible way, what they have to do, how often a case needs to be reviewed, how residential homes should be run, what kind of environment the children should have and what type of meals they should be served. We have introduced the aspect of health and wellbeing.”
Mr Vella said that the standards specify the responsibilities of the services provided by the officials from the agency responsible for the protection of children and outlines the responsibilities of those who have been entrusted with caring for the children.
The Minister for the Family and Children’s Rights, Michael Falzon said that the standards were drafted following dialogue and consultation with the stakeholders.
”We did not create these standards as a reaction to any particular shortcomings, there were standards in existence before this, but obviously the world changes, and what was applicable and good ten or 20 years ago is not applicable today. We have a new authority and its work is precisely to set these standards.”
Public consultation on these standards will remain open until 12 August.