One of the core principles of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act 2015 is that
institutionalisation must be the last resort for children. Experiences of children and research studies across the world show long term adverse impact of institutionalisation on children. Non-institutional family-based alternative care such as kinship care and foster care are considered to be the preferred options on the continuum of care as these options prevent institutionalisation of children and supports their right to grow up in a family environment.<.br>
Foster care is defined as care of children in a family other than their biological family in the absence of a biological family or when care in the family or extended family is not possible. In India, foster care is practised as individual foster care and group foster care. The first variant refers to the care of a child under a foster family. Group foster care is ‘a family-like care in a fit facility for children in need of care and protection who are without parental care.
Kinship care is defined as family-based care within the child's extended family or with close friends of the family known to the child, whether formal or informal. In India, kinship care for children without adequate parental care is the most common form of care traditionally.