Foster families will be given priority in Inua Jamii, says PS

Enumerator Mary Kiama (seated) updates CS for Labour and Social Protection Florence Bore on the Inua Jamii Fund registration process at Barguret, Kieni constituency, Nyeri county, September 11, 2023. [Mose Sammy, Standard]

Families seeking to be enrolled in the Cash Transfer programme and have children in Charitable Children Institutions (CCI’s) will be given priority.

According to Labour and Social Protection Principal Secretary Joseph Motari, the ministry will consider the children transiting from children’s homes and orphanages when registering new beneficiaries in the Inua Jamii programme. 

Motari identified poverty in families as one of the main reasons that children end up in institutions.

“Most of the children in CCIs come from very loving homes that for one reason or another cannot meet their basic needs. The National Social Protection Policy of 2024 will ensure that no child is institutionalised for lack of basic needs,” said Motari,

With this realisation, the PS said the Cash Transfers to Orphans and Vulnerable Children; Older Persons; Persons with Severe Disabilities and; those from drought-prone areas and at risk of famine will strengthen families.

The National Care Reform Strategy for Children in Kenya is a 10-year roadmap that aims at ensuring that within this period, the country will have fully embraced family and community-based care for children as opposed to institutional care.

Further, he said Further, the Ministry is in the process of developing Regulations to guide the establishment and operations of Child Welfare Schemes and Programmes as required by the Children Act, 2022 to address child rights and welfare concerns while promoting family and community care of children.

According to Motari, the ministry is also working closely with the children’s institutions and donors to fund initiatives that support children from within their families and communities.

In the transition from institutional care, children whose families cannot be traced will be placed with other alternative families and those who cannot find alternative families and are old enough, can be supported to live independently within a community that guarantees their safety, security and general well-being.

Motari added that the ministry will establish rescue centres that will provide temporary shelter and care to children as their matters are dispensed with.

“The institutions are also accommodating the children but with a view of reuniting them with their families once the issues necessitating separation have been fully addressed,” said Motari.

He added, “Children whose families cannot be traced or their homes are not conducive for their safety and well-being will eventually be placed with alternative families.”

As the Care Reform initiative gains momentum, Motari said there will be an annual National Learning Conference bringing together all stakeholders to bring to the fore the need for more sensitisation, to evaluate and to pick lessons from different counties.

“So far, all counties are implementing Care Reforms but at different stages. Our hope is for all of us to fully embrace Care Reforms and we will continue using every opportunity to spread the gospel,” said the PS.

Motari emphasised the need to sensitise families and communities on the benefits of family in facilitating the wholesome growth of children as well as the dangers of institutional care as stakeholders put in gatekeeping mechanisms to avoid sending children to children’s home.