The Directorate of Children’s Services alongside relevant partners involved in the implementation of foster care in the country have organised a series of events to be held in Kiambu County under the banner of a foster focus week, from December 4 to 10, 2023.
The events seek to raise national awareness on foster care and its implementation, highlighting the success of foster care over the last 2 years in the country.
Under the National Care Reform Strategy 2022-2032 that envisions a country where children can live safely, happily and sustainably the Children’s Department is seeking to move away from institutionalised care through children’s homes which is being phased out for a more community-based family-focused care system.
Rose Barine the Kiambu County Coordinator for children’s services said that the week is slated to highlight the families and children that have gone through the process of fostering as well as celebrating their achievements and sharing success stories on the fostering system and bringing them together throughout the week and incorporating training for the foster parents and activities for the children.
“We are very excited about the week, the planning has been going very well, the aim is to educate the public and show them what it takes to be involved in foster care, we have seen incredible results here in Githunguri, Thika, and Kiambu sub-counties and hope to see this progress reflected as we continue to spread awareness,” she said
Peter. K. Muthui from the non-profit Child in Family Focus Kenya and is part of the planning team laid out the set of activities slated to be carried out throughout the week starting with the sensitization of foster care to community health promoters from Kiambu and Thika west sub counties then a 3-day training for foster parents and prospective foster parents and ending the week with a foster parents’ appreciation day and a children’s fun day.
“We have a host of activities that will engage the foster parents through giving them helpful information that will help them continue with their work as well as sensitizing them of the finer details of the work they will be undertaking. This will all culminate on the final day where we will appreciate their work and involve a mix of foster children for a fun day to show them that they are not alone in the system which can be very rewarding for their self-esteem and confidence.” he said.
According to the Directorate of Children’s Services there are an estimated 45,000 children living in over 845 charitable children’s institutions (CCIs) – privately run residential institutions overseen by the Directorate of Children’s Services (DCS).
In addition, there are an estimated 1,000–1,200 children living in 28 government-run institutions, including rehabilitation, remand, reception, and rescue centers.
By Cedric Karungaru