The Kunming Bureau of Civil Affairs (KBCA) has announced an ambitious plan to clear the city's streets of homeless children by the end of the year, Kunming Information Hub is reporting. The project will focus on children who are begging or otherwise working for their livelihoods.
The new program, called "Take every homeless child home" (让每个流浪儿童回家), will run for the rest of 2012. The first phase of the project was instituted at the beginning of this year and involved policy and coordination work between several outreach groups as well as a publicity campaign.
The second phase started in July and involves identifying minors in need of help and convincing street children to accept aid. They will be offered psychological counseling and lodging in city-run shelters.
The final part of the program involves relocation with the goal of identifying as many needy children as possible. When homeless juveniles are found, the KBCA will check them for diseases at local hospitals and treat those with serious ailments.
Case workers will then begin the search for the children's parents or relatives and return them home as soon as legal guardians are identified. If no next of kin are found the children will be placed in orphanages for up to two years.
Children who live in orphanages for more than two years will be placed in foster homes, adopted or otherwise "settled" in new homes. Relevant Public Security Bureaus will also assist in properly establishing a hukou registration so in the future the children can work legally.
The initiative has been discussed in the press since last September. An initial report stated that many homeless children migrate to Kunming from Qujing, Chuxiong, Honghe and Zhaotong. Many children in the Spring City also come from other provinces, including Sichuan, Guizhou and as far away as Anhui, according to Wang Shufen of the KBCA.
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