For years, Ugandans have raised children of their brothers, sisters and friends – an informal version of fostering. These children have been given a chance to have a family and grow up in a loving environment.
Formal fostering is family based care for children whose own family is unable or unwilling to look after them. The only difference between the two is that formal fostering is legally validated according to the legal system governing children’s rights in Uganda. It involves looking after children of all ages and from different backgrounds.
It means a child will live temporarily with another family depending on their circumstances while a suitable permanent solution is sought. It can be either short-term for a period of days, weeks or long-term for a period of months or even years. In some cases after a given period of time the family may apply to legally adopt the child in their foster care.
Fostering provides children who would otherwise have no one to care for them with a safe, secure and nurturing family environment in which they can thrive. Most importantly fostering is also a partnership which focuses on the needs of the child as well as the foster parents, with social workers and institutions all working together for the security of the child.
We had a little boy in our care who we had to remove from his home because his family was abusive. The social work team made the assessment that it would not be safe for him to be returned to his family so he was admitted back to Malaika Babies’ Home.
He spent nearly two years at Malaika but we did not want to place him in long-term care. He deserved and had the right to a family. Every day you could see him getting more and more frustrated. He was old enough to know exactly what was going on. All his friends were being resettled with their families or new families.
No child should have to spend their life in care, begging strangers love them and take them home. After a year of trying to find a family to foster him on a long term basis we finally found a wonderful Ugandan couple who run a school. They were approved by the adoption panel week and after spending time bonding with them he went home with his family.
At Ugandans Adopt, we are looking forward to many more foster care happy endings just like this one. We are asking every able Ugandan family to open up their homes and their hearts to children that need a family to call their own and somewhere to belong.
For more information on how fostering, send an email to email@example.com or call 0776110304