GOVERNMENT has launched a regulatory framework to address concerns on the quality of care provided to children in institutional care facilities.
Minister of Community Development Mother and Child Health Emerine Kabanshi said in Lusaka on Friday that society has been hit by many hardships that affect children.
She said this when she launched the `Minimum Standards of Care for Child Care’ framework.
Ms Kabanshi said Government is mandated to take care of the welfare of all vulnerable groups in society, especially children.
“Institutionalisation is always the last resort and as Government, we prefer that children are looked after from their own family environment,” Ms Kabanshi said.
The minister said the Minimum Standards of Care for Child Care facilities will provide the much- needed guidance to childcare facilities and ensure that children’s rights in these homes are protected.
Ms Kabanshi said everyone has a part to play to ensure that factors that have put the family under severe and constant threat are addressed.
“It is, therefore, imperative that support be provided to families in order for them to be able to take care of their children,” Ms Kabanshi said.
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) chief of child protection Maud Fortuyn said finalisation of the document is a huge accomplishment.
Ms Fortuyn said UNICEF is always keen to support Government’s efforts to strengthen the childcare system.
“Children not living with their parents are vulnerable to abuse, violence, exploitation and dropping out of school,” Ms Fortuyn said.
Earlier Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health social welfare director Stanfield Michelo said placing a child in A transition homes should not be permanent.
Mr Michelo said currently, there are 5,522 children placed in transitional home and Government is making efforts to reunite them with their families despite the difficulties faced to trace them.
Zambia Daily Mail
Picture Credit – SMS