According to a report by SITAN (2014), children within the age bracket of 0-18 years old constitute half of the Kenyan population, with the Kenya State Party Reports on the ACRWC and UNCHR documenting widespread abuse neglect and exploitation of children in all parts of the country. The reports also further emphasize on the need to enhance Government’s comprehensive and holistic action in reference to child care and protection and this is reiterated in the Kenya National Plan of Action for children 2015-2022, with the Kenyan constitution giving greater mandate on child care and protection to both National and County governments as well as local communities.
The African Report on Child wellbeing (2013) recommended the strengthening of human and institutional capacities as one of the priority areas for action by the government and non-state actors in Kenya. Subsequently SITAN (2014) identified limited skills and technical capacity gaps in the existing social workforce as the key underlying cause of weak child protection services. This workforce range from state and non-state agencies that range from education and health institutions, police, judiciary, probation, prison, children department, public administration, charitable children institutions among others.
In light of the above challenges and recommendations, still there has been no standard certification for persons working with children, considering that also this workforce emanates from diverse professional backgrounds. This lack of standardization and certification informed the need for developing a competency-based curriculum that integrates local and contextual reality of emerging social needs and practices in childcare and protection.
This curriculum was developed by Kenya institute of Curriculum Development and Pwani University in partnership with Juvenile Justice Agencies and ACCIK and was fully funded by Swedish Mission Council and ERIKS Development Partner, Sweden. It was then launched 29th September 2016 together with the child care and protection handbook for practitioners at the Kenya institute of Curriculum Development and targets the numerous cadres of professionals working in the field of child care and protection, while being offered at Pwani University, Technical Training Institutes in Kenya and the African Centre for Child Care and Protection, Thogoto, Kikuyu (ACCCP) formerly known as Nuru Africa.
During the curriculum launch ACCIK further envisioned a need for a forum where various stakeholders in the field of child care and protection can share their experiences and challenges in the course of providing service in child care and protection and thus the idea of a symposium was born.
This symposium seeks to bring all stakeholders in child care and protection together in a 3 day forum, where they can share experiences, challenges and opportunities available in this field both from the perspective of research and service provision. At the end of the 3 day symposium forum, we look forward to have created synergy among the stakeholders in child care and protection.