The Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) is a comprehensive scheme of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, which aims to create a protective environment for children in the country. It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme which not only brings all existing child protection schemes of the Ministry such as the scheme for street and working children, administration of juvenile justice, etc. under one window but also proposes an increased allocation for child protection programmes in the Union Budget.
The scheme aims to significantly contribute to the realization of Government/State responsibility for creating a system that will efficiently and effectively protect children. It is based on cardinal principles of “protection of child rights” and “best interest of the child” and the provisions of Juvenile Justice (Care and protection of Children) Act, 2000 and the Amended Act, 2006 and the rules therein. It promotes the provision of Juvenile Justice Act and the Rules with special focus on adopting child-friendly approach for holistic development, care, protection and treatment of children in need of care and protection and juveniles in conflict with law.
The objectives of ICPS are to contribute to the improvement in the well-being of children in difficult circumstances, as well as to the reduction of vulnerabilities, situations and actions that lead to abuse, neglect, exploitation, abandonment and separation of children. The ICPS aims to achieve these objectives through improved access to quality child protection services; raised public awareness on child rights situation and protection in India; enforced accountability for child protection; institutionalization of essential services and strengthening of existing structures; establishment of functional structures at all government levels for delivery of statutory and support services to children in difficult circumstances; evidence-based monitoring and evaluation, enhancement of capacities at all levels; creation of database and knowledge base for child protection services; and strengthening child protection at family and community levels.