The foster family system reaches over 6,800 children

ANKARA

The Turkish Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services promotes “protective family service” across the country to support children in need of protection in a family environment.

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In 2002, the number of children in foster care was only 515, but it is now over 6,800.

As part of the ministry’s activities, family protection services are developed to improve children’s health in an emotional and social way, with a sense of self-sufficiency and self-confidence.

Following promotional meetings, the number of families covered by the service increased.

The number of foster families has reached 5,555 across Turkey, while the number of children in a family has reached 6,801, state agency Anadolu reported on June 4, based on ministry data.

This year, 971 families applied to the authorities to be considered as foster families and of these, 516 were accepted. Thus, 629 children were placed in foster care this year.

As the largest city in the country, Istanbul ranked first for the number of host family applications with 194. It was followed by the western province of Bursa with 72 and the central Anatolian province of Kayseri with 64. requests.

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There is currently no Turkish province that does not have host families. The country’s three largest cities rank the list in terms of the number of host families. In Istanbul, there are currently 540 host families; in the Aegean province of Izmir, 361 host families; and in the capital Ankara, 336 host families.

Regarding the number of children in care, there are 594 in Istanbul, 407 in Izmir and 385 in Ankara.

Families can apply for foster care on the e-devlet website, which is a government portal, or on the ministry website. If a family is accepted as a foster family, the government pays them monthly payments for the care and upbringing of the child. If the child has a disability, the monthly payment is 50 percent more.

The money paid per child to the family reaches up to 1,426 Turkish liras (about $ 248) per month.

In September of each year, this monthly payment is tripled to cover the child’s education costs. And two months of each year, that money is doubled to cover the child’s clothing expenses.

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Child health expenses are covered by the State. If the child has to undergo vocational training administered by the state or institutions, the family does not have to pay any fees.

Those who have family protection contracts and do not have basic social security for their retirement may have their premiums paid by the state if they apply for optional insurance from the Social Security Institution on a minimum wage.

Social worker visits every three months

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Host families receive lessons to improve their communication with children. Once the child has been placed in a foster family, he receives a visit from social workers every month during the first year and then every three months from the second year.

During these visits, which take place at the home of the host family, the social workers concerned assess the psychological development of the child and observe his school attendance.


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