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27.02.2009 Social News

Establish family and community care centres for vulnerable children


The Care Reform Initiative (CRI), an organisation against ill-treatment of children, on Thursday called for the establishment of an integrated family and community based care centres for vulnerable children, as against the over reliance on building orphanages to serve the purpose.

The CRI, which is hosted by the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) said the establishment of such facilities would make for a more consistent and stable approach to caring for vulnerable children, to ensure that they were assured of permanent home in a supportive and loving family.

In a press statement on Friday, the DSW said the call was informed by the department's observations that the operations of most children's homes in the country fell short of minimum international and national standards.

The statement said the new approach when implemented would help prevent the disintegration of families, by adopting strategies such as social grant benefits programmes, access to health insurance facilities, scholarships among other things, to alleviate the plight of such children.

It said in cases where children were separated from their parents, the approach would help reintegrate them with relatives who would create a caring and stable environment for them.

It said in situations where reintegration could not be possible, temporary or permanent care with foster families could be facilitated to provide the children with good home treatment.

The statement said the approach could make for adoption within the confines of the law, when the possibility of family reunion was exhausted.

The CRI is a five year programme supported by UNICEF, and other NGOs, and it works on the dictates of the Children's Act of 1998.