Plan for Efforts to Aid and Protect Children Lacking Guardianship as a Result of the Coronavirus

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Promulgation Date: 2020-3-14
Title: 国务院应对新型冠状病毒感染肺炎疫情联防联控机制关于印发《因新冠肺炎疫情影响造成监护缺失儿童救助保护工作方案》的通知
Document Number:国发明电〔2020〕11号
Expiration date: 
Promulgating Entities:State Council Joint Mechanism for the Prevention and Control of the Covid-19 Epidemic

Source of text: http://www.gov.cn/zhengce/content/2020-03/15/content_5491581.htm

Children and the future of the motherland and the hope of our people. This plan is formulated in order to thoroughly implement the requirements of the Central Leading Group for Efforts to Respond to the Covid-19 Epidemic's "Notice on Further Completing Efforts to Reveal Populations in Difficult Situations During the Period of Epidemic Prevention and Control" (GuoFaMingDian [2020] No.9) and the State Council's "Notice on Curther Completing Epidemic Prevention and Control Efforts in Civil Service Institutions" (GuoFaMingDian [2020] No.6) and to further complete efforts to protect children lacking guardianship due to the impact of the epidemic (hereinafter referred to as 'children lacking guardianship').

"Children lacking guardianship' as used in this Plan is defined in accordance with the "Ministry of Civil Affairs Notice on Efforts to Aid and Protect Children Lacking Guardianship as a Result of the Coronavirus Epidemic" (MinDian (2020) No. 19) to include children whose parents or other guardians are confirmed or suspected to be infected or who need to isolated for observation, those whose parents or other guardians are unable to perform the duties of support and guardianship because they are needed for epidemic prevention and control work or due to other impact of the epidemic.

I. Prompt discovery and reporting

1. Each region should guide village and township governments (neighborhood offices) to coordinate forces such as children's supervisors, children's directors, basic-level womens federation committees, community workers, and social workers to thoroughly understand children's guardianship situation along with epidemic prevention and control screening; and where relevant personnel discover children lacking guardianship, they should promptly report this to the village (resident) committee and the village or township (community office) people's government.

2. Departments of health and medical establishments should make inquiries at the outset into the guardianship situations of those confirmed cases being treated or subject to centralized isolation for medical observation, and where there are situations of children lacking guardianship, should promptly report these to the village (resident) committee, work unit, or to the people's government at the same level. Village (resident) committees should proactively learn about the guardianship situation for children of those who are confirmed cases undergoing treatment or who need to be centrally isolated for medical observation.

3. Where parents or other guardians are temporarily unable to perform their duties of support and guardianship due to the epidemic, the guardianship situation and contact methods for children in their home should be proactively reported to their village (resident) committee or their work unit at the first possible moment.

4. Each region should open a child protection hotline, using mobile phone texts, mobile phone client terminals, radio, television, and other such methods to increase the extent of publicity, and announce the number in conspicuous locations such as transport hubs, main roads in villages (communities), and entrances to apartment complexes, informing children's families together with publicity on the epidemic and screening visits, to expand the extent of public awareness. Give play to the role of the womens federation's rights protection services hotline at "12338" in discovering and reporting, and referring cases. Encouraged to find children that have become unsupervised and promptly report these through the hotline.

5. Where medical personnel, school teachers, children's directors, community workers, social workers, volunteers, or relevant charitable organizations providing home visit services discover children lacking guardianship, they should promptly report the situation to the village (resident) committee and the village or township people's government (neighborhood office) for the children's actual place of residence.

II. Implementation of Guardianship

6. Where children's parents or other guardians are unable to perform their duties of support and guardianship due to the impact of the epidemic, village (resident) committees should urge them to retain others who have capacity for guardianship to give care in their place. Where there is nobody with guardianship qualifications in accordance with law, the village (resident) committee it to give temporary care; and where there are true difficulties the civil affairs departments of the county-level people's governments are to take on temporary responsibility for guardianship.

7. Where children lacking guardianship have a history in key epidemic areas, history of contact with people from key epidemic areas, history of close contact with confirmed or suspected cases of Covid-19, or have an unclear health state, the departments for civil affairs, village and township people's governments (neighborhood offices), village (resident) committees, should coordinate the health departments' placement of the children in designated medical establishments for testing. For those children whose tests show they are uninfected, the village and township people's governments (neighborhood offices) and village (resident) committees should confirm whether guardianship responsibility is in place; for those found to be confirmed or suspected cases, priority should be given to their placement in a medical establishment for treatment.

8. Each region should strengthen follow-up guidance, and should designate children's supervisors, children's directors, basic-level womens federation executive committees, community workers, social workers, and others persons to be responsible for conducting home visits and telephone follow-up at least twice each week for children in the care of retained guardians or designated persons.

9. After parents or other guardians are treated and discharged or complete isolation, children should be returned to their care so long as they provide proof of discharge or relevant health certificate from a local medical establishment.

III. Strengthen Rescue and Support

10. During the period of epidemic prevention and control, children whose parents are unable to perform support and guardianship responsibility due to the impact of the epidemic, who meet the criteria for designation as de facto unsupported children, should be promptly included within the protections for de facto unsupported children; where they meet the criteria for designation as orphans, they should be promptly included in the scope of protections for orphaned children; and where the civil affairs departments are responsible for their temporary guardianship, they should given appropriate placements such as with organizations for the protection of minors.

11. Children and households that have fallen into difficulty due to the impact of the epidemic should be promptly given temporary assistance in accordance with regulations. Where eligible, social assistance policies such as the minimum living allowance should be implemented to ensure effective safeguards for basic needs.

12. Health departments should guide medical establishments to open green channels for children's emergency care to ensure that children who are confirmed or suspected of infection are sent to the designated medical establishments to receive treatment as soon as possible. Village (resident) committees and retained guardians should pay close attention to the physical state of children lacking guardianship who have other illnesses during the epidemic, and assist them in seeking medical care.

13. Each region should provide daily care for children with needs, showing priority concern for children lacking guardianship, and support professionals such as social workers and legal workers in proving services such as psychological counseling, emotional support, and companionship for children of various age levels. Education departments and schools should strengthen guidance and services for at-home education of school-age children lacking guardianship ensuring that 'classes stop but learning doesn't'.

14. Establishments for the protection of minors should proactively participate in responding to leads on children lacking guardianship, temporary care, service referrals, follow-up in specific cases, connecting resources, and other such services.

IV. Strengthen Work Safeguards

15. Each region should make the protection of children lacking guardianship a key work item, improving work plans, refining institutional measures, strengthening organizational safeguards, and solidly completing all work to ensure that no incidents that cross the bottom line of social morality occur. All levels of civil affairs department, womens federation organizations, and women and childrens' committee offices should play a role in leading the way.

16. Each region should strengthen financial safeguards and each civil affairs department should coordinate the use of all kinds of funds, such as funds for assisting the needy and lottery funds for social welfare matters, and also use various measures to raise other social funding, to truly strengthen efforts to protect children lacking guardianship.

17. Increase the force of government procurement of services to bring in social work and psychological consultation service establishments and other such organizations to provide all kinds of professional services to children lacking guardianship and to increase precision in care.

18. To strengthen oversight and guidance, each region should increase follow up inspections and where extreme problems occur due to inadequate efforts, responsibility should be sternly pursued in accordance with laws and regulations.

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