Ugandan Government to preserve and strengthen families by supporting the placing of children in families
On Thursday 13th December 2018 , the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MoGLSD) held a one day workshop with residential care institution owners and influencers from the Wakiso, Mpigi, Makindye and Tororo areas.The “Re-imagine Alternative Care Meeting” aimed to discuss the importance of orphanages placing children back into families.Speaking during the workshop, Shafiq Butanda, the Principal Probation Officer and Head of the Alternative Care Unit at MoGSLD noted that the government wants to strengthen and preserve families. “We want children in families,” he said. He noted that the government is mobilizing resources to review the children’s act especially the alternative care reforms.
According to Aidah Agwang, an Advocacy Manager the workshop was aimed at providing orphanages with a platform to discuss alternatives to residential care and how they can reimagine, repurpose and rebuild their facilities.“This is the beginning of shifting mindsets and focus from owning and running residential care institutions to placing children in families,” notes Agwang.
Mary Nakazibwe the Probation Officer Wakiso District noted that “Children develop best with the family where there are primary care givers with undivided attention,”
Susan Alamai, Probation Officer Tororo District noted that the disctict has made great strides in regards to the reintegration process. The District, according to Alamai, has trained community based child care workers to promote keeping families together.“We have also established an alternative care panel to address the cases of children without family,”Mary Nakazibwe the Probation Officer Wakiso District noted that “children develop best with the family where there are primary care givers with undivided attention.
Over 56 participants including orphanages, NGOs and Probation and Social Welfare Officers attended the workshop and shared their experiences and learnings on the why, the when, and most importantly the how to reunite children in the orphanages with their families. There were also additional presentations from Joel Serwadda a care leaver who was let go from the orphanage at 18 years, Harriet Nakawuki a foster carer, Melissa Kirabo an adoptee, Agnes a representative from the Adoptive Parents’ Association, Elton Mutize a transformational coach and Keren Nshakira a representative from Hope and Homes for Children in Rwanda among others.