Influence of charitable children's institutions on child safety in Kisumu Municipality, Kenya
Okello, John W.
MetadataShow full item record
The safety of children is a matter of great national concern. Death of parents or extreme poverty make children end up in Charitable Children's Institutions. Categories of children placed in Charitable Children's Institutions range from Abandoned, Neglected, Sexually, physically, emotionally and psychologically abused, Orphaned, Street children and Children with disabilities. Child safety refers to a state of health, happiness and/or prosperity (Bose, 2006). Charitable Children's Institutions therefore should be careful enough to ensure safety in all its dimensions. If the issue of safety in charitable children's institution is not addressed adequately, there is great danger of the children living in these institutions to go to the streets. This may lead to many social ills such as immorality, insecurity, drug abuse and addiction, low productivity, child labour, alcoholism, teenage pregnancy, suicide and many other social ills. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of Charitable Children's Institutions on child safety in Kisumu Municipality, Kenya. The objectives of this study included, to examine the extent to which child care in a charitable children's institution influence their safety, to assess how staff competencies in charitable children's institutions influence child safety, to establish the extent to which institutional policy guidelines in charitable children's institutions influence child safety, to assess the level at which physical facilities in charitable children's institutions influence child safety and, to assess how the role of service providers in charitable children's institutions influence child safety in Kisumu Municipality. This study was conducted through descriptive survey design methodology. It employed stratified sampling, simple random sampling and purposive sampling techniques. The main tools for collecting data included questionnaires, and interview schedule. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and findings presented in tables. Key findings of the study indicate that Charitable Children's Institutions in Kisumu Municipality are able to provide the children with meals at least three times a day though some lack health and nutrition programs. Most have not fully embraced children's rights specifically on the right of participation. Their children have diminished opportunities for their psychosocial needs to be met and are not prepared to cope with disasters like fire. The majority of the children were happy with the services they receive from the staff who were widely experienced in their work. However professional staff in all areas of service is missing in these institutions. Some institutional policy statements that were meant to protect the well being of the children were taken for granted by staff and management. The study revealed that physical facilities were scarce while means of transport to schools for most of the children is safe. Waste disposal systems were poor in most institutions. The study recommended that in order for Charitable Children's Institutions to take good care and protect their beneficiaries, they must provide a complete package of essential services to them. Nutrition should be provided in sufficient quantities, frequency and quality. All the children should be screened and treated for all diseases. Psychosocial needs of the children should be addressed by providing opportunities for quality interaction among the children and with professional children workers. Disaster preparedness plan that include practical drills with the children must be in place. Staffs must be adequate, competent and experienced. Institutional policy statements as vision statement, mission statements and core values must clearly be displayed and shared with the children who are the primary beneficiaries. The management and staff members should also take these policy statements seriously by showing commitment to them. Ample physical facilities should be provided. Local authorities should plan for these institutions because they need to be built in areas where there is enough space to avoid congestion. Area advisory councils (AAC) should also ensure that only institutions that meet the requirements are registered. Service providers such as hospitals, transporters, schools and garbage collectors should be sensitized on the special status of these institutions as their clientele.