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Orphan and Vulnerable Children’s Institutional Care and Their Social Integration: A Case Study of Dagoretti South Constituency, Nairobi County Kenya

Abstract:This study explored the type of care given to Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Institutional Care and how it impacts on their social Integration. The Case study compared the various care approaches, facilities and services granted to OVC’s in different institutional care centers in Dagoretti South Constituency and how it later impacts on the life of OVC’s once they are integrated back into society. The study adopted a case study research design using mixed method approach that focused on the collection, analysis and synthesis of both qualitative and quantitative data. The study targeted and collected data from 4 selected charitable care institutions in Dagoretti North Constituency which have a combined average population of 190 residents. Data was collected using questionnaires, key informant interview guides and focus group discussion guides. Data was collected from childrenin privately managed and government managed institutions, individuals who had already been discharged from alternative care, social workers, care givers in the institutions and officers from the children’s department. The study established that orphaned and vulnerable children living in charitable care institutions received did a wide array of services which were meant to ease their life in the institution as well as prepare them for life after leaving the institutions however privately manned institutionsprovided better services than their government maned counterparts. Privately maned institutions provided an integrated approach to social integration which helped alleviate the likelihood of vulnerable children struggling with challenges after their integration unlike government institutions which provided rigid full time care. The study recommended that social integration should be put in a policy framework and made part of key policies within all alternative care institutions. The study also recommended that there is need for the development of and implementation of a curriculum and guidelines that provide for relevant precise training, teaching and advancement of talents, skills and gifts of children in charitable care institutions. Key terms: Orphan children, Vulnerable Children, Institutional Care, Social Integration

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