Residential Care for Abandoned Children and their Integration into a Family-Based Setting in Uganda: Lessons for Policy and Programming

Eddy J. Walakira, Eric A. Ochen, Paul Bukuluki and Sue Alllan

This article describes a model of care for abandoned and neglected infants in need of urgent physical, social, and medical support as implemented by the Child's i Foundation, an international, nongovernmental organization operating in Uganda. The model discounts the need for long-term care of young children within institutions and challenges the basis for intercountry adoption. Underpinned by the essentials of care continuum provided under the Uganda National Alternative Care Framework (Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, 2012), the model emphasizes the need to effect the reintegration of the separated child within the family of his or her birth, or locally organize foster care or adoption. Highlighting policy and programming lessons, the model showcases a holistic approach to the problem and puts emphasis on interventions that are protective, promotional, and transformational and the use of a community-oriented approach. The model offers guidance to both government and nongovernment actors in addressing the problems of child neglect and abandonment through the implementation of the alternative care framework.

Infant Mental Health Journal Volume 35, Issue 2, March/April 2014, Pages 87–191