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Research shows that children brought up in families are well-developed

Families have been urged to embrace orphaned, neglected and abandoned children as they grow best in family and community environments.

Speaking during a county stakeholders’ mapping and sensitization meeting in Lodwar, Children Officer Alfred Murigi said, “Children who grow in families enjoy survival, development, participation and protection rights which are key pillars in child care.”

The stakeholders who included representatives from National Government Administration, departments of children services, probation, information, charitable care institutions and other non-state actors were enlightened on the national care reform strategy.

The approach aims to prevent separation and family strengthening, alternative care and tracing, reintegration and transitioning to family and community-based care.

Separation of families was identified as one of the reasons why children do not grow in family environments.

Alternative care is applied when children cannot be raised by their biological parents either because their parents died or due to other unavoidable circumstances.

In such cases the children can be brought up under kinship, kafaala, guardianship, foster care, adoption among others.

This approach also seeks to redirect resources from institutions that take care of needy and abandoned children to families and community based care.

This process that started this year will go on for 10 years under three phases. Year 1-3 involves preparation and demonstration of pilot projects results, year 3-10 scaling and implementation while year 9-10 will involve review and planning for future action.

The meeting was organized by UNICEF and the department of children services. Participants were informed of some of the changes in the New Children Act 2022.

County coordinator for children services Julius Yator said the care reforms is a journey to ensure that children are raised within families and communities.

Yator said the government was moving away from establishment of children homes to supporting children with their families and other alternative care methods.

By Peter Gitonga

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