Community Development Authority launches Embrace Programme for Abandoned Children
His Excellency Khaled Al Kamda, Director General of the Community Development Authority (CDA) underlined the key role of the Authority in promoting the welfare of all cross-sections of people, with the launch of a new initiative, Embrace, that works to secure suitable conditions for abandoned children to enjoy a decent life and potentially move into a caring and loving family.
H.E. Al Kamda announced the details of Embrace at a press conference in Dubai. The programme is dedicated for Abandoned Children, referring to those who were identified by the Federal Law (1) of 2012, as being in the country with no parents or extended family, thus being deprived of familial care.
H.E. Al Kamda said: “Through our initiatives and programmes, we aim to be the main engine of sustainable social development in Dubai looking after and achieving the well-being of the community and enhancing social harmony among various categories.
“Abandoned Children require special attention and care as well as healthcare, psychological, social, recreational, and educational support. Ensuring the rights of abandoned children, their civil liberties, protection and safety is a key societal responsibilities.”
Highlighting the reasons of launching the programme, Al Kamda, said: “CDA has launched Embrace because we believe in the intrinsic role of the family unit in the lives of children. With Embrace we are working to connect these children with surrogate families who are willing to provide the care they need. The child thus becomes integrated into the family unit on a long-term basis, giving them the opportunity to lead a decent life”.
He pointed out that abandoned children are not a phenomenon in the UAE. In fact, the number of such children does not exceed 15 - 20 annually, but CDA believes that it is necessary to provide appropriate channels to care for them.
CDA will receive requests from families interested in the custody and care of abandoned children and simplify all related procedures and instructions to complete the process of taking care of these children, Al Kamda added.
Dr. Huda Al Suwaidi, Director of Family Development Department at CDA, said: “This initiative emphasizes on the importance of looking after these children, and is rooted in the pillars of Islam and our Arab culture that stresses on social solidarity.
“Abandoned Children deserve to grow up in an appropriate environment where they can be relieved from the disruption they have gone through in the past. CDA has set a number of conditions, which sponsors have to meet before they can take in a child including that the family should be an Emirati Muslim family living in the UAE, the spouses should be 25 years old and single mothers should be at least 30 years of age”.
The surrogate family members should be free from infectious diseases or psychological and mental disorders that could affect the wellbeing of the child and that the hosting family or mother should have the financial means to look after the child.
With regard to the procedures, a first meeting is held between the family and the child, followed by a transition plan for the child and a trial period of six months. Upon completion of the trial period, Embrace and the surrogate family will finalize the decision.
Community Development Authority
The Community Development Authority (CDA) was founded by a decree of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai in July 2008. CDA is responsible for setting up and developing a framework for social development, and aims to achieve the goals outlined in the Dubai Strategic Plans.
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