The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection has revealed the government’s intention to shut down all children’s homes across the country.
The announcement was made by Cabinet Secretary (CS) Florence Bore, the Cabinet Secretary for Social Protection, during her visit to the Child Welfare Society of Kenya.
CS Bore stated that this decision came about as a crucial component of the government’s ‘Deinstitutionalisation of Children’ program.
This deinstitutionalization initiative aims to reform the childcare system by closing orphanages and children’s homes and instead placing vulnerable children in suitable, family-like environments with government-identified foster homes.
The Cabinet Secretary elaborated on this concept of deinstitutionalization of children, describing it as a process that seeks to revamp childcare systems, effectively phasing out orphanages and children’s homes while actively seeking warm, nurturing placements for at-risk children, providing them with non-institutional support.
CS Florence Bore pointed out that this approach has been adopted successfully in many countries worldwide, emphasizing that children tend to thrive better when raised in a home environment.
She explained the rationale behind the move, stating, “This process is being hailed because children are able to thrive best when raised in a home.”
The government initially announced its intention to phase out children’s homes and orphanages in November 2022, with the overarching goal of reuniting children with families and placing them under community-based care. This transition is set to occur gradually over a 10-year period, as outlined in the Care Reform Strategy.