Supporting Kinship Care in Zimbabwe

UNICEF, Changing the Way We Care

Kinship care involves children who cannot be cared for by parents being looked after by relatives or friends of the family. In Zimbabwe, around a quarter of all children are estimated to be in kinship care. Regional and global guidance state that kinship care should always be explored as the first option when children are separated from parents. It can offer a safe and caring environment, where children speak their own languages and follow their own traditions. However, without support, kinship care families often face challenges, especially as most kinship carers are elderly grandmothers.

In this case study, the authors explore how the government of Zimbabwe and local civil society organisations (CSOs) are working together to maximise the benefits and minimise the risks of kinship care. The case study is based on interviews with 12 individuals which included policy makers, practitioners, kinship carers and children in kinship care. 

The Regional Learning Platform on care reform for Eastern and Southern Africa provides an opportunity for government, UNICEF and others involved in care reform in the region to share learning through webinars, document exchange, a HelpDesk, and pairing and mentoring. The platform and its corresponding documentation was planned and conceptualised by UNICEF Eastern and Southern African Regional Office (ESARO) and Changing the Way We Care.