Government has pledged esteemed care and support towards the welfare of all vulnerable groups in society, especially children.
Minister of Community, Mother and Child Health Emerine Kabanshi said incorporating children in orphanages should be the last resort adding that government prefers that children were looked after in their own family environment.
Ms. Kabanshi however said government was ready to support children that were taken into childcare institutions due to various circumstances.
She said government would support children through the provision of grants as adoption and foster care services.
She was speaking in Lusaka today during the launch of the minimum standards of care for children.
The minister further said the availability of social cash transfer and child grant schemes was also aimed at helping vulnerable families to take care of their children through the providing food and paying school fees.
Ms. Kabanshi said the gender based violence and anti-human trafficking programmes were also aimed at providing support to women and children who may be victims of abuse.
And Social Welfare Director Stanfied Michelo said it was unfortunate that there were over 5,520 children in 120 orphanages countrywide.
Mr. Michelo said children in orphanages were subjected to unstandardized quality care due to limited government staff to monitor and supervise them.
He said child care institutions were also facing challenges such as poor coordination and inadequate data for the smooth running of operations for the underprivileged children.
And United Nations International Emergency Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Chief Child Protection officer Maud Fortuyn said her organization will continue working towards realising the children’s rights worldwide according to the convention on the rights of the child which was unveiled 25 years ago.
Ms. Fortuyn said UNICEF will always remain keen in supporting governments in their efforts to strengthen child care system.