Government has disclosed that 6,414 children in the country are currently under childcare facilities, 68 percent of whom have taken there by their own biological parents.
Speaking during the official launch of the alternative care and reintegration guidelines and the nationwide assessment report on childcare facilities, Community Development and Social Services Minister Emerine Kabanshi says there is need to highlight the important role the family plays in the upbringing of children and to national development.
Ms. Kabanshi wonders why parents would abandon their own children when government has support programs in place.
She says the launch of the two documents will provide guidelines on the adoption and foster care processes which have been misunderstood for a longtime.
The Minister has emphasized that institutionalization of children should always be a measure of last resort because government prefers that children are looked after from their own family environment.
Speaking earlier, UNICEF deputy country Representative Shadrack Omol said it is unfortunate that children in childcare institutions tend to overstay without any contact from their parents.
Mr. Omol says this is not praiseworthy because family also helps in the child’s mental and psychosocial developmental aspects.
He says it is advisable that even if the children overstay in the facilities, they should at least be in contact with their extended families as it is important for their upbringing.