The government plans to implement a 10-year Care Reform Strategy that will see the phasing out of Children’s homes and Orphanages.
The strategy will provide alternative solutions to childcare as they plan to reintegrate children back into families and community-based care.
This strategy also aims to bring back the family as a key unit in child upbringing.
Moreover, assistant director in charge of Care and Reform at the Directorate of Children’s Services Jane Munuhe said the government has enacted a new law.
While addressing managers and social workers of orphanages and children’s homes in Kakamega County on Thursday, November 10, Ms Muhune stated that the Children’s Act 2022 makes provision for the 10-year period for Kenya to phase out children’s’ homes and orphanages.
“Kenya is a signatory to the United Nations Convention and Protocols on the rights of children and coupled with local laws, family and community remain the best alternative for child upbringing. This new children’s Act supports the rights of children to grow up in families and communities.” Munuhe said.
According to Munuhe, this is part of the training the Department of Children Services is involved in, to prepare them for the transition that has been adopted globally.
“The trainees are being taken through the provisions of the Children’s Act and care reform strategy. The aim is that once they get the knowledge, they will be able to initiate the process of ensuring that children go back to their families and the community,” she said.
According to Muhune there are 45,000 -50,000 children living in approximately 855 private charitable children’s institutions and others living in government-run institutions.
Furthermore, Munuhe noted that children who are homeless, orphaned or are separated from their parents, will be offered the alternative family care programme.
Nonetheless, the programme includes kinship care, foster care, guardianship, and adoption.