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World Vision Taiwan to terminate foster care services

03/26/2024 08:25 PM
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Image for illustrative purposes only. Source: unsplash
Image for illustrative purposes only. Source: unsplash

Taipei, March 26 (CNA) Charitable organization World Vision Taiwan (WVT) said Tuesday it will cease providing foster care services on behalf of local governments after 33 years.

The WVT's decision to pull out of the sector comes amid scrutiny over the death of a 1-year-old boy, placed by another charity group in foster care, due to alleged abuse by his caregiver.

The boy was placed in the care of a licensed Taipei nanny last September after his mother was sent to prison, and while the Child Welfare League Foundation (CWLF) tried to find an adoptive family for him.

The CWLF learned of the boy's death -- allegedly as the result of long-term abuse by the nanny -- in December. The nanny, surnamed Liu (劉), and her younger sister have been detained by prosecutors in connection with the case, but have not yet been charged.

However, the WVT told CNA that the decision was mainly a result of a social worker shortage and difficulties in recruiting foster families.

Wang Yi-wen (王怡雯), a WVT brand management executive, said foster care arrangements had become more challenging.

Additionally, many children in need of foster care nowadays are those with special needs, which requires more professional support in caregiving, she said.

Therefore, the WVT hopes to channel resources into other aspects, such as the welfare of teenagers, a group of people who have traditionally received less attention, according to Wang.

The WVT is in the process of communicating with local governments regarding the termination of their partnership, which began in 1991, she said.

The WVT currently provides foster care services for local governments in Taipei, New Taipei, Kaohsiung, and Pingtung County.

It said its contract with New Taipei is up at the end of April, while partnerships with the rest three local governments are set to continue until the end of this year.

In response, the Ministry of Health and Welfare's Social and Family Affairs Administration said it has asked local governments to transfer foster care management and introduction tasks to other organizations.

(By Wu Hsin-yun and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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