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Foster family program for homeless children


16:33, May 07, 2013

Families in Guangzhou may serve as foster parents for homeless children if they qualify, Guangzhou Daily reported Tuesday.

The city will become the first to experiment with foster families for homeless juveniles across the country.

The project was launched by the Guangzhou Rescue and Protection Center for Street Children, to help with homeless juveniles living on the street by begging or picking up trash. As a temporary guardianship institution, the center will screen and supervise families for boarding and sign contracts with them.

The program requires specific details when choosing families, to ensure a good living environment for homeless children, said Xu Fuxian, principal at the center.

Couples should be between 30 and 60 years old, and one of them should be a full-time parent, Xu said. Single-parent families will be excluded, and the family's biological child should be older than 10. The parents are also required to have an education equivalent to high school or above. Their household incomes should be at the local average level.

The center also requires favorable living conditions, including articles for daily use, studies and recreational activities, air conditioning and communication facilities.

The municipal government of Guangzhou will offer subsidies for foster families to pay accommodation costs, medical expenses and education fees. Training and supervision will also be done by the government.

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