Foster care applications soar to 283,000

Foster care applications soar to 283,000

Foster care applications soar to 283,000

People across the country continue to apply to the Family and Social Services Ministry to become foster families for quake-hit children taken under state protection.

Around 283,000 applications have been issued online through an e-government application called e-Devlet since the earthquakes hit Türkiye’s south.

Children who survived the earthquake but lost their families were taken under protection by experts, and they will be ensured to benefit from the ministry’s social and economic support services (SED), foster family services and adoption services, ministry officials said.

“If the children in question have relatives [grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc.], efforts will be made to ensure that they are delivered to them. In this context, these children will be looked after by their relatives with the support of SED. In accordance with the policies of our ministry, children who need to be taken under protection will benefit from our foster family and adoption services,” the officials added.

“Foster family and adoption services are based on certain principles. Professional assessment and social investigations play a crucial role here. Our provincial directorates will carry out inspections and evaluation studies on the families who apply to foster a child. This process usually takes three to six months, and at least five interviews are conducted. After the inspections, people deemed suitable to foster a child are placed in the queue, and children can be given to them,” they informed.

The ministry officials later listed the criteria for becoming a foster parent as being a Turkish citizen between the ages of 25 and 65, residing permanently in Türkiye, having at least a primary school education and a regular income.

Stating that foster families should not have any health problems that would prevent them from taking care of the child and should not have criminal records related to certain crimes, the officials said anyone who is “tolerant, patient, compassionate and can provide a safe environment” can become a foster parent, regardless of marital status or whether or not they bear children.

Currently, there are 1,396 unaccompanied children and 721 still in treatment since Feb. 6’s quakes.

A total of 167 children have been taken into institutional care after their treatment, while 508 children were handed over to their families after identity checks. So far, there are 1,114 identified and 282 unidentified children.