The Government’s Care Reform Strategy for Kenya 2022–2032 Children Reintegration Program has provided training to a total of 12 foster care families.

This decade-long initiative aims, among other goals, to ease the responsibility of caring for vulnerable children in Charitable Children Institutions (CCI) and to reintegrate them into families and the community.

The program, based on the Children Act of 2022, seeks to transform former Charitable Children Institutions (CCIs) into community facilities. Here, previously rescued children can seek guidance and counseling services before returning to their homes.

Mwaniki Kung’u, the Nyeri County Director of Children Services, stated that his office has engaged all pertinent stakeholders in the program, including managers of all 28 CCIs in the county, to ensure a smooth transition in executing the process.

“We have 28 Children Homes in Nyeri and all are engaged in this process. So far, we have trained 12 foster care families that are ready to take the children. We are doing the sensitization for all the stakeholders, including the police, the judiciary, parents, and churches, so that this project succeeds, because without the participation of all stakeholders, this can be sabotaged. It can fail,” he told KNA.

The officer also dispelled the myth suggesting that children in Charitable Children Institutions (CCIs) receive better care compared to those in natural settings. Instead, he advocated for the family as the optimal environment for nurturing children into responsible adults.

Mwaniki emphasized that while children’s homes play a crucial role in rescuing and caring for children from violent and abusive homes, the family remains the only haven capable of guaranteeing these victims a sense of belonging and identity.

He highlighted that the government intends to promote the family, whether biological or otherwise, as the ideal solution to address the challenges associated with abused children residing away from their families.

“What we are talking about is called the Care Reform Strategy for Kenya 2022-2032. It is government-funded, and it is taking ten years, from 2022 to 2032.It is also captured in the transitional clauses of the Children Act of 2022. Basically, this is what we are calling de-institutionalization, or removing children from institutions, because research has shown that children growing up in such environments don’t develop as normally as other children who are brought up in family setups,” Mwaniki explained.