Child Welfare System Revamp: Increasing Foster Care in Japan

  • The work system in the Japanese society is busier compared to other countries. Most people have a strong sense of pride in what they do. Regardless of the task assigned to them, they do the best they can. This gives some parents less time to take care of their children which means assigning foster parents or sending them to institutions at a very young age. Japan is trying to remedy this by fitting in the goal of having 1/3 of all children experience a family-based care by 2029.

    Children’s Condition in Institutions

    It is said that alternative care for children in Japan is moving towards small-scale institutions and foster care. Some of them enter younger than 2 years old which literally contradicts the policy advised by the World Health Organization, United Nations, and International Association for Residential Care that children under 3 years of age should never be institutionalized. There are actually some institutions providing excellent care such as having a one-on-one foster parent but others are still outdated and understaffed. It is quite a difficult situation as caregivers cannot give the necessary care for every child. Some parents lack awareness of the fostering system, while others already know how harmful institutionalizing children can be.

    Revamping the System

    The fact that many Japanese parents are facing serious situations in taking care of their children results in many women giving up birth leading to a lower birth rate in the country. Because of this, the Japanese government has already passed a bill last May 2016 supporting quality child care which is family-based. This is going to be followed through with an increase in fostering than institutionalizing. Fostering is less expensive and provides more support when it comes to children’s development as long as someone is dedicated to them. With the increasing number of working mothers, several day care services are also expected to increase. This will also be a work opportunity for several unemployed Japanese women.

    Within the next years, the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare in Japan will be increasing the foster care system. If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent, you may visit your local child guidance system to know additional details of the process.

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