The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection has announced plans to close all children's homes in the country.
The announcement was made by Social Protection Cabinet Secretary Florence Bore when she met Staff and Children at the Child Welfare Society of Kenya Temporary Place of Safety on Saturday.
The CS announced that this was part of the Deinstitutionalisation of Children programme being implemented by the government.
According to the CS, some individuals were taking advantage of the children’s homes to engage in human trafficking.
“Deinstitutionalisation of Children is the process of reforming child care systems and closing down of orphanages and children's homes and in place finding suitable homely placements for vulnerable children and support them in non-institutional ways,” Bore explained how the program would work.
In the new program, homeless or rescued children will be placed under government-identified foster homes.
CS explained that most countries in the world had embraced the idea of foster parents and it had proved more successful than children's homes.
“This process is being hailed as Children are able to thrive best when raised in at best in a home,” she explained the rationale behind shutting down the homes.
She added that temporary places of safety ensure a safe space for rehabilitation as the government continues the process of reintegration.
In November 2022, the government announced that it would phase out children’s homes and orphanages with the goal of having children back in families and under community-based care.
The government has announced that this will be done over a 10-year period under the Care Reform Strategy.
“Kenya is a signatory to the United Nations (UN) Convention and Protocols on the rights of children and coupled with local laws, family and community remain the best alternative for child upbringing. This new Children’s Act supports the rights of children to grow up in families and communities,” Assistant Director in charge of Care and Reform at the Directorate of Children’s Services Jane Munuhe stated then.