This National Child Policy of Uganda has been developed to coordinate the efforts of the different sectors that have a direct and indirect mandate on children and deliver a comprehensive package of services encompassing all the four cardinal rights of the child (to survival, development, protection and participation) in a multi-sectoral approach.
The National Child Policy development process identified five core priority areas that have informed the Policy objectives, strategies and interventions. The four priority areas are hinged on four cardinal rights of a child: Survival, Development, Protection and Participation. The fifth priority area is System Strengthening that is cross cutting/supporting nature.
The objectives under the Child Care and Protection priority area include:
Strategy 1: Scale up the provision and improve access to family strengthening and support services to families especially the vulnerable families
Strategy 2: Improve permanency planning for children including those who are deprived of family care through quality alternative care services for children living outside family care
Strategy 3: Strengthen capacity of the national childcare and protection sector for effective response to prevent, and protect all children against all forms of violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect
Strategy 4: Strengthen the capacity of the local government and community childcare and protection structures for effective response to prevent, and protect all children against all forms of violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect
Strategy 5: Develop and implement measures for prevention and protection of all children in and out of school from all forms of violence, exploitation and abuse
Strategy 6: Develop and implement a national response for prevention of and resettling of all children in crises, disasters and emergencies including street situations
Strategy 7: Strengthen economic livelihoods of young people
Strategy 8: Strengthen capacity of the child protection structures at all levels to provide effective and appropriate child-child friendly services to victims of violence against children
One of the guiding principles of this National Policy is that it is family-centered. As the Policy notes, "children’s well-being is largely dependent on the ability of families to effectively care for and protect them. Children need a secure and nurturing environment to ensure their survival, development, protection and participation. Families must be adequately supported and resourced to care for their children and ensure the fulfilment of their rights. When parents are not able to care for their children, the policy prioritises a commitment to family-based alternatives and community environments for the care and protection of all children. Children should only be taken out of their families as a last resort."