Influence of the Government's approaches in rehabilitating child law breakers on life coping mechanisms: A case of Kirigiti Girls rehabilitation school in Kiambu County
The purpose of the study was to examine the approaches used by the Government of Kenya to rehabilitate child law breakers in relation to their ability to develop life coping mechanisms. The study sought to establish from the experiences of only 3rd year beneficiaries of Kirigiti girls‟ rehabilitation school and other stakeholders in order to determine the extent to which the government‟s approaches influence the children‟s ability to cope in life after rehabilitation period. The objectives of the study were to assess the influence of intellectual development, social development, moral development and economic development approaches employed by the government of Kenya in rehabilitating child law breakers to enhance their life coping mechanisms. The theory used in the study was social development theory by Erickson and moral development theory advanced by Piaget. The study was conducted at Kirigiti girls‟ rehabilitation school in Kiambu County. The institution receives girls‟ child law breakers from all counties across the country for rehabilitation. The rehabilitation period is three years after which the girls are released back to their homes. The target respondents for the study involved 3rd year beneficiaries and key informants. It comprised of 55 beneficiaries in the 3rd year of rehabilitation, 5 Staff of Kirigiti girls, 3 Staff of NGOs implementing at Kirigiti girls, 4 Children‟s department field Officers, 2 Staff of National Council for Children‟s Services, 2 Probation Officers and 2 Police Officers. Considering that the population of the study was manageable, census method was used. All the members of the target population participated. But the exclusion criteria was used to select 3rd year beneficiaries from those who were 1st and 2nd years. Data was collected through interviews and self-administered questionnaires. Data analysis was done in two phases: First Phase; data entry (typing) and Second Phase; data cleaning (coding of data and appropriately placing it where it belonged. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the basic features of the data in the study. Data analysis of the quantitative information was done using statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS) version 20.0). The result of the study showed that government approaches had 41.7% influence on life coping mechanism among 3rd year beneficiaries at Kirigiti rehabilitation school. Statistics further showed that economic approaches had higher scores followed by moral development, third was social development approaches and lastly intellectual development approaches. All (beneficiaries and key informants) agreed that the programme had a positive impact on development of life coping mechanism among the girls. This was supported by 87.3% of beneficiaries indicating that they could recommend other child-law breakers to attend the same programme at Kirigiti. The study recommends that the approaches currently used intellectual development and social development need to be reviewed by all the stakeholders. Also, the study suggests that there is need for continuous provision of guidance and counselling services through the invitation of former girls who will come and inspire the girls on rehabilitation in order to enhance their life coping mechanism because those girls will be speaking from experience.