Why Kenya plans to do away with children homes

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In a renewed effort to ensure alternative care options are embraced the government in collaboration with partners has embarked on an awareness campaign to ensure children are brought up in a family environment.

The question of whether children’s homes are necessary in Kenya, or any other country, is complex and multifaceted. Children’s homes, also known as orphanages or residential care facilities, are institutions that provide shelter, care, and support for children who are orphaned, abandoned, or in need of protection. The necessity of such homes depends on various factors, including the social, economic, and cultural context of the country.

In Kenya, as in many other countries, there are arguments both in favor of and against the existence of children’s homes. Some reasons people may argue in favor include:

  1. Child Protection: Children’s homes can provide a safe and stable environment for children who have experienced abuse, neglect, or the loss of parental care.
  2. Emergency Care: In cases of emergencies or crises, children’s homes can serve as a temporary solution to ensure the immediate well-being of children until a more permanent solution is found.
  3. Access to Education and Healthcare: Children’s homes may offer access to education, healthcare, and other essential services that some children might lack in their biological families.

However, there are also arguments against the reliance on children’s homes

  1. Family Preservation: Efforts should be made to strengthen families and keep children within their biological or extended families whenever possible, as family-based care is generally considered more beneficial for a child’s overall development.
  2. Psychosocial Development: Children in institutional care may face challenges in terms of emotional and psychological development, as they may lack the individualized attention and bonding that family environments provide.
  3. Long-term Solutions: Children’s homes are often seen as a temporary solution, and efforts should be directed towards finding permanent, family-based solutions through adoption, foster care, or reunification with biological families.

The ideal approach is a combination of both preventing family breakdowns and providing support to families in need, while also having a system in place for alternative care when necessary. Governments, NGOs, and communities need to work together to create a comprehensive child welfare system that addresses the root causes of family breakdown and ensures the well-being of children. It’s essential to strike a balance between emergency care and long-term, family-based solutions to meet the diverse needs of children in different situations.

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