For the 1989 film, see Foster Child. Foster care is a system in which a minor has been placed into a ward, group home, or private home of a state-certified caregiver, referred to as a “foster parent” or with a family member approved by the state. The State, via the family court and child protection services agency, stand the education of children in foster care loco parentis to the minor, making all legal decisions while the foster parent is responsible for the day-to-day care of the minor. A little more than a quarter of all foster children are placed in relative care.
Most kinship care is done informally, without the involvement of a court or public organization. In Australia foster care was known as “boarding-out”. Foster care had its early stages in South Australia in 1866 and stretched to the second half of the 19th century. It is said that the system was mostly run by women until the early 20th century. Then the control was centered in many state children’s departments. Foster care in Cambodia is relatively new as an official practice within the government.
However, despite a later start, the practice is currently making great strides within the country. Left with a large number of official and unofficial orphanages from the 1990s, the Cambodian government conducted several research projects in 2006 and 2008, pointing to the overuse of orphanages as a solution for caring for vulnerable children within the country. In the subsequent years, the Cambodian government began implementing policies that required the closure of some orphanages and the implementation of minimum standards for residential care institutions. These actions lead to an increase in the number of NGOs providing foster care placements and helped to set the course for care reform around the country. Foster care has had a long history in India, first initiated in the 1960s by the central government. The first non-institutional scheme was introduced in Maharashtra in 1972.