GCF's Work in Kenya
Family Strengthening & Support Programmes
Early Intervention Programmes
Family Strengthening Programme with Pumwani Maternity Hospital
This programme was initiated in 2013. It has reached over 4000 mothers and their children annually. Each year, an average of 50 families attends a family celebration event after holding monthly support groups for a year.
The main output has been reduction of abandoned babies at the maternity hospital. The number dropped from 119 abandoned babies to 63, hence less institutionalisation of children who are below 3 years old, this is good news because it means less early deprivation of parental care.
De-Institutionalisation (DI) Programmes
In 2017 GCF Kenya signed an MOU with SOS Children’s Villages Kenya Chapter, to offer Child Reintegration Roadmap Consultancy, which is part of DI.
SOS Kenya has benefitted from capacity building that targeted its systems, staffs of all levels, families of the children and children creating a seamless process, hence enhancing its ability to carry out child reintegration. GCF Kenya is also working with SOS Children’s Villages in Tanzania among other organizations.
Early Intervention & Family Preservation Programmes
GCF Kenya has developed a partnership model with the Children’s Department Office in Gatundu, Kiambu County. The programme enhances the technical capacity of the Sub-County Children’s Office to prevent unnecessary out-of-home placements. In the period of almost one year and six months, together with the Children’s Office, GCF Kenya oversaw 614 reported cases involving children.
Of these, only 4 were placed out of their families, posting a record 99% success rate of children who received services within the family. In addition, 15 children were removed from institutional care and placed back with their families.
News from Kenya
“Children in Families do not go to Children’s Home” – Kelvin’s story
A University of Nairobi Fourth Year Law Student had this to say after accompanying Grace during her visits to Gatundu South Children’s Office - “This work should be replicated in every Children’s Department Office and in other parts of Kenya.”
Kevin was rescued from an out of home placement and managed to resume schooling. His story reveals family breakdown that left him in the care of his grandmother who could not meet the financial requirements of his schooling.
The father had given up and wanted him placed in an institution. At the initial attempt to assist Kelvin he wondered aloud whether there is a school that is free of charge. He even wanted to be taken to the children home located near the children office. His mind had been affected by the inability of his grandmother to purchase what he needed to go to school. Later in the process of intervention he remarked; “Children in families do not go to Children’s Home.” This was a clear change of mindset.
Kevin is still at home and enrolled in school after receiving assistance from a well wisher who is conversant with the work of GCF in Kenya.
The interventions included: Family therapy sessions, home visits and assessments, Payment of school fees, purchase of school uniforms, school follow ups and engagement with the local chiefs.
Family Strengthening Programme
The GCF Kenya and Pumwani Maternity Hospital continue carrying out Parenting Skills training. The training is aimed at exposing mothers to basic parenting concepts and skills.
The programme is followed up by support groups; one of them is in Eastleigh estate where the mothers are able to continue the learning experiences in a supportive environment.
The support group held its first outing in Arboretum Park. It was a day of fun and learning for the mothers and their children. These mothers confessed that they rarely get a chance to unwind and play games because they have to balance between their parenting duties with small businesses to provide for their families.
Country Director of our GCF office in Kenya
Grace is a career Social Worker with special interest in Child Protection, Early Childhood Development and Family and Community Based Care for children in need of care and protection.
She has over nineteen years’ experience in Child Protection and Social Work majoring in Deinstitutionalisation of Children, and Family and Community Based Care models. She started her child protection work in the streets of Nairobi, rescuing over 200 children and reintegrating children back to their families.
She has also made policy contributions in as Committee Member of Alternative Care Guidelines Kenya. This team developed guidelines for alternative family care in Kenya that was launched in 2014. It was an initiative between the Government of Kenya and UNICEF. At present she is a Secretariat Member of the Steering Committee with mandate to review and develop a policy and legal framework to regulate and manage child adoptions in Kenya.
She was appointed and gazetted in 2015. Grace holds a Master’s Degree in Child Development (Haifa-Israel), Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy (PACU Kenya) and Bachelors Degree in Social Work. (UON-Kenya)
“Creating Child Care Solutions in Africa”