Kenya Govt Underscores Importance Of Family Unit In Child Care

Cabinet Secretary, Labour and Social Protection, Simon Chelugui

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          NAIROBI, Kenya, August 19, 2020 – Kenya government has underscored the importance of the basic family unit in the nurturing, care and raising of children in society.

Cabinet Secretary, Labour and Social Protection, Simon Chelugui was emphatic that placing children within a family set up gives them identity, sense of belonging and goes a long way to help them benefit from support networks in the community.

However, SC acknowledged that there is a big number of children without parental care in our society who require alternative care options.

The SC made the remarks during the induction of Adoption Committee Members at Machakos University on Monday, August 17, 2020.  The members of the Adoption Committee domiciled in State Department for Social Protection were undergoing a high-level induction training.

According to the Children Act 2001, the Adoption Committee is the central authority in matters of adoption. This includes formulation of policies in adoption matters.

The CS was categorical that adoption was the last option for children. It should only be considered, Chelugui was emphatic, after reasonable efforts have been made to determine that a child cannot remain with his/her family of origin, or cannot be cared for by members of his or her family.

The family is a nurturing and caring environment and is the ideal place in which to raise a child.  According to the CS, due to the nature of the family, growing up in a family helps children to develop a sense of self-esteem, belonging, family values and religious and cultural identity.

It is worth noting that in November 2014, Kenya imposed a moratorium on inter-country and foreign resident adoptions.

“The purpose of the moratorium was to enable the government to conduct a comprehensive audit of policy, legal framework, processes, procedures and players involved in the practice of adoption,” clarified the CS.

The CS was flanked by Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Social Protection Patrick Ole Ntutu, Judge of the Court of Appeal, Lady Justice Martha Koome, Inspector General of Police, Hirary Mutyambai and Director of Criminal Investigations, George Kinoti.

Others present were Director Public Prosecutions, Mr. Noordin Haji and Chairperson Adoption Committee, Chege Ngugi.

CS Chelugui noted that Kenya is a signatory to International, and Regional instruments specific for the care and protection of children that form the basis for the National Legal framework for adoption.

Among others, this includes the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) which Kenya ratified in 1990 and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (1990) to which Kenya acceded to in the year 2000 and domesticated in the Children Act, 2001.

To enhance the policy and legal framework, the CS divulged that his Ministry is in the process of finalising the development of: Children Bill 2020; Regulations for foster care, guardianship and adoption; Care reform strategy; Standard operating procedure (SOP) for alternative family care; Training manual for Alternative Family Care and Case management for reintegration package.

In his address, the CS was categorical that to further strengthen family-based care for children, the government has embraced child care reforms, a paradigm shift of child care from institutional to family and community-based care.

Under this, the Ministry in collaboration with partners organized learning visits to the US, Rwanda and the UK. A care reform pilot program is currently ongoing in Kisumu, Nyamira, Kilifi, Kiambu and Muranga.

“To enhance my ministry’s mandate in service delivery, we have adopted a Multisectoral collaborative framework with both government agencies and private actors,” the CS noted while pledging support for the committee.






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