The Directorate of Children Services kicked off a 3-day foster parent training program in line with the Foster Focus week to raise awareness and give appreciation to foster parents and the foster system in the county.
The training aims to provide skills to strengthen the relationships between the foster parents and children and infuse positive parenting techniques to protect children from all forms of harm.
The training will improve the children’s confidence in their skills through exposure to other parents’ experiences as well as sharing their own during the course of their fostering journey.
Hoyd Isadia Director of Alternative Family Care from the Directorate of Children’s Services while opening the training highlighted the importance of alternative care when compared to the institutionalised care services provided by the government.
“As a ministry through collective international research done over 80 years we have found that children who have been brought up from childhood to adulthood in these governmental and private institutions have issues among them being the lack of personal familial care required to bring up a child,” he said.
With 12 percent of children aged 3-21 having disabilities in the country according to the Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE), Isadia emphasised the importance of parents fostering children with disabilities and special needs, as they are the most vulnerable in society and need special care.
“We continue urging prospective parents to consider these children, we know how in some communities they are shunned and neglected and even killed because of traditional beliefs that are harmful to children who have disabilities, that’s why we must step in and show them the love and care they deserve,” he added.
Simon Kuria a prospective foster parent said, “I have raised 5 children and most have left the house so I wanted to find out if I can make room to foster a child but didn’t know how to go about it, these 3 days will be good for me and my wife to learn and hear the experiences of other parents who have been through this journey.”
The foster focus week kicked off with the training of community health promoters (CHPs) on how to address Foster families and how to approach Foster care sensitization in their communities.
The event ends on Friday with a family fun day that will celebrate the foster parents and foster children in the county.
By Cedric Karungaru