Talent Gore

THE Government has approved the National Policy for the Care and Protection of Children without Parental Care.

Addressing a post-Cabinet media briefing yesterday, Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere said the overall goal of the policy was to facilitate the comprehensive development of all children by ensuring that their needs and rights were adequately met.

“The policy seeks, among other things, to promote and enhance safe, protective and stable environments for children without parental care,” he said.

“It caters for the rehabilitation of children in specialised alternative care facilities, including those with disabilities, children in conflict with the law, children removed from the streets, child survivors of drug and substance abuse, and children in formal and informal alternative care.

“The policy aims at ensuring that all children in alternative care placements in Zimbabwe, regardless of the place, context and duration, enjoy their rights as enshrined in Section 81 (d) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.”

Dr Muswere said the policy will ensure that children in alternative care receive basic services in the form of education, health, justice, food, clothes, shelter, life skills and sustainable livelihoods.

“The National Policy for the Care and Protection of Children without Parental Care outlines minimum standards for alternative care including the following: 

l That children should have their needs assessed comprehensively, with written placement care plans which outline how the needs will be met.

l That there be regular reviews of children’s needs and development placements in order to meet the child’s identified needs.

l That children should maintain constructive and safe contact with their families, friends, and other people who play a significant role in their lives.

l That children should be able to move in and out of care in an appropriate manner.”

Dr Muswere said children should get the necessary support to enable them to prepare to leave care and transition into adulthood while being encouraged to express their views, wishes, and opinions on matters that affect them.

“A Whole-Of Government-Approach will be adopted in the implementation of the policy in order to ensure that the rights of the children are adequately protected,” he said.

“Non-state actors will complement Government efforts in the provision of specialised services in line with their registered mandates.”

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