Government of Goa in order to give more impetus to Women and Child in the State carved an independent Directorate in 1997 bifurcating from erstwhile Directorate of Social Welfare called “Directorate of Women & Child Development”. This Directorate deals with all issues pertaining to women and child, for its overall development and empowerment. Various Welfare Schemes of Government of India and State Government meant for women and children are being implemented by this Directorate. The Head Office of the Directorate is situated at Old Education Department, Building, 2nd Floor, Panaji. There are twelve sub-offices each at Taluka level called “Integrated Child Development Services” (ICDS).
The Directorate is headed by Director and the ICDS project at Taluka level is headed by The Child Development Project Officer (CDPO).
Further, there are two Institutions namely “Apna Ghar” and “Protective Home-cum-Reception Centre” both located at Merces, Tiswadi-Goa under the control of this Directorate for housing children and women separately. Apna Ghar houses children in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection. This Institution is set up under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000. Whereas, the Protective Home is set up under Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 to house those women who are victims of Immoral Trafficking.
Besides there are two independent Commissions under this Directorate, they are Goa State Commission for Women situated at Junta House, Panaji and Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights situated at D-7-A,Ground floor, Government Quarters, Opp. Directorate of Fire & Emergency Services, St.Inez, Panaji Goa.
A Special Courtis also set up under this Directorate called “The Children’s Court” to try all cases of offences against the children. This Special Court is set up under the Goa Children Act, 2003 which is one of the unique law concerning children in the whole of India. The Children’s Court is functioning from Shrama Shakti Bhavan, 1st Floor, Patto, Panaji – Goa and headed by the District & Sessions Judge as President.