Japan to start program to tackle child abuse within FY 2021

Japan’s welfare ministry Friday decided to launch a new program within fiscal 2021 to send helpers to households with signs of child abuse to do housework and support child-rearing.

The ministry hopes to start the program within the year through next March, rather than in fiscal 2022 as previously expected. Related expenses are included in the government’s fiscal 2021 draft supplementary budget adopted Friday.

The program will start from municipalities that have become ready since it will take some time to complete the necessary preparations, according to the ministry.

The ministry is discussing a proposed revision to the child welfare law with an expert committee of the Social Security Council, which advises the welfare minister.

The ministry aims to submit a bill for the revision, including measures to strengthen municipalities’ child care support, to next year’s ordinary parliamentary session.

In order to promote use of the program, the ministry will oblige municipal governments to compile assistance plans for individual households.

The ministry also plans to create organizations for integrated consultation services to help pregnant women and child-rearing households by reorganizing municipal support bases, including those related to maternal health and child welfare issues.

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