The detrimental effects of institutional care on a child’s well-being are widely documented. Child in Family Focus Kenya sensitizes the public and stakeholders on the said effects and advocates for the use of family based care options such as kinship care, adoption, foster care and guardianship as much more effective in providing care and protection for children.
Throughout the world, a majority of children in need of protection and care have been cared for in institutions.
Globally there are changes taking place which transform the lives of children, giving them the experience of a family through reintegration into families, adoption and fostering.
In Kenya, there has been a steady increase in the number of children in Charitable Children’s Institutions over the recent years. Data from the Department of Children Services indicate an increase from 10,568 children in 2004 to 40,506 children in 2010. A 2012 Save the Children report estimated the total number of children to be 43,286 in a total of 701 regulated institutions. However, these numbers are much higher considering the high number of unregistered and unregulated institutions. A majority of these children have one or both parents alive reinforcing the fact that orphanhood is not the main reason for their institutionalization. A significant number of children are made vulnerable by poverty, harmful cultural practices, family breakdown, abandonment, natural disasters, ethnic and political conflict, inaccessibility to education and disability.
Good governance is essential in a country if the children of the nation are to flourish. There is no greater investment a country can make than giving her children the best opportunities to grow holistically.
The Kenyan Government has a responsibility to act within the law and the New Constitution, not only for it's own integrity, but also as good examples to the rest of the citizens of Kenya including children.
Child in Family Focus remains commited to challenging bad governance in child protection and policy matters in Kenya as well as working closely with government in care reform.