REHABILITATION AND INTEGRATION OF ABUSED CHILDREN: A CASE STUDY OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE REHABILITATION INSTITUTIONS IN NAKURU DISTRICT, KENYA

ABSTRACT
The increasing number of child abuse cases in Kenya does not only affect the future socio- economic development and well being of the country, but also its security and safety. In Nakuru district, identified abused children are taken to rehabilitation institutions for care, protection and later integration back into the society. However, little documented information exists on the actual rehabilitation process in these institutions and later integration of the children back into the society. This study sought to evaluate the rehabilitation and integration of abused children in public and private rehabilitation institutions in Nakuru district, Kenya. This study adopted an ex post facto research design. The target population included all the abused children, managers and caretakers in the three rehabilitation institutions, and government officials from the children’s department, probation and municipal welfare office in Nakuru district. A sample of 149 children, 6 managers, 9 caretakers, and 3 government officers was selected and included in this study. Primary data was collected through administration of two sets of questionnaires (children, managers and caretakers) to the selected respondents and an interview schedule with the government officials (children’s department, probation and municipal welfare officer). Collected data was analyzed using descriptive statistics with the aid of a computer programme - Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 11.5 for windows. Data presented in this study supported the following findings: the main causes of all forms of child abuse in the study area stem from the family and the society; the services offered in the rehabilitation institutions are adequate enough to rehabilitate and later integrate the child into the society; public and private rehabilitation institutions have different criteria of admitting children even though all of them are supervised and regulated by the government; rehabilitated children are adequately prepared for integration back into the society; and both the rehabilitation institutions and the government agency responsible for handling child abuse cases face challenges in undertaking their responsibilities. Based on these study findings, three key recommendations were made: there is need for the society and families to re-evaluate the plight of children in the society in order to stem child abuse; there is need for the government to develop uniform criteria for admission of children into private and public rehabilitation institutions so as to treat abused children equally; and there is need for the society to be more involved in the integration process of the rehabilitated children so as to ensure swift and efficient acceptance.

CHAPTER ONE:
INTRODUCTION
Background Information
The social, economic and political changes that characterise the modern society have served to erode the close and communal way of life that used to epitomise the African traditional societies (Ndubai, 1971; Ombima, 1989). The close social ties, responsibility and care that used to bind people together in the society have all crumbled and been replaced by an egocentric way of life. People are more worried about their own social and economic security and do not seem to care about the rest of the society. Children have been the most affected by these changes because of their innocence and vulnerability. The modern society has therefore been characterised by the ever-increasing number of child abuse and neglect cases (Ndubai, 1971; Naroll, 1983; Ombima, 1989; Kubo, 1990; Kilbride & Kilbride, 1993). The major forms of child abuse have included familial, extra-familial and institutional abuses. These forms occur in four major types including physical, emotional/psychological, neglect/abandonment, and sexual abuses (Children Legal Action Network - CLAN, 2003; Jean, 1990; Donellan, 1998).

According to the Children Department Annual Report (2000), there are over 600,000 children in Kenya who have no proper access to basic human rights, needs and services and are in need of special protection and care. These children have been subjected to this kind of life due to orphanage; change in family structures (declined status of the extended family); negligence; abandonment; poverty; marital/family conflicts; early and irresponsible pregnancy; war; and diseases, among others. More than 45,000 of these children are in need of institutionalized rehabilitation and care. The government of Kenya has attempted to address child abuse in the country by putting in various initiatives and necessary legal framework to protect children from abuses and at the same time punishing child offenders (Nation, 2006, June). Such legislations include the passing of the Children Act 2001 (Cap 586, Laws of Kenya) which is aimed at promoting the well-being of the child in the country. The Act spells out and addresses the rights that a child is entitled to and the role of the government in protecting these rights (G.O.K., 2001).

The same Act also establishes children’s rehabilitation schools and remand homes. It also allows for establishment of charitable children’s institutions by private initiatives for the care and protection of children (CLAN, 2003; Levi, 2002; National News, 2001; Kenya, 2001). The State was to assume the responsibility of a “parent” of these abused children. Myers (1991) observes that the activities of these institutions are supposed to ensure that the needs of the children are well taken care of without compromising their basic human rights.

In the recent past, the country has witnessed unprecedented growth in the number of abused children as a result of the changes in the social, economic and political factors characterizing the modern society (Children Department Annual report, 2000; Njuguna, 2004). According to the Rift Valley Children Department (2006), Nakuru district is one of the worst affected regions in the country in terms of child abuse. The district, and Nakuru town in particular, has experienced a sharp increase in the number of abused children. The increase has been attributed more to poverty, change in social structures, and the frequent ethnic and tribal clashes that have been recurring in Likia, Mauche and Molo areas since the introduction of multi-party politics in the country in early 1990s. The report of the Akiwumi Judicial Commission of Enquiry into the Tribal Clashes in Kenya (G.O.K., 1999) observed that most of the victims of the 1990-92 and 1997-1998 tribal clashes in Rift Valley Province ran into Nakuru town for safety, shelter and even food. Some of the children and their parents find themselves in the streets and the sprawling slums in the town. Majority of the children have been taken into various public and private rehabilitation institutions in the district. These institutions are expected to provide for care, protection and later integration of the children back into the society. However, the actual rehabilitation and integration process of the abused children taken into these institutions has always remained elusive.

Statement of the Problem
In the past two decades, Nakuru district has witnessed unprecedented growth in the number of abused children. The increase has been attributed more to poverty, changes in the social structures and frequent ethnic and tribal clashes that have been recurring in the area since early 1990s. In the district, identified abused children are taken to rehabilitation institutions for care, protection and later integration back into the society. However, little documented information exists on the actual rehabilitation process in these institutions and later integration of the children back into the society. This study therefore sought to provide some insights into the rehabilitation and integration of abused children in public and private rehabilitation institutions in Nakuru district.

Purpose of the Study
This study sought to evaluate the rehabilitation and integration of abused children in government rehabilitation institutions in Nakuru district, Kenya.

Objectives of the Study
In order to achieve the purpose of this study, the following specific objectives were stated:

(i) To establish the forms of child abuse among children admitted in rehabilitation institutions in Nakuru district.

(ii) To determine the services offered to the abused children in the rehabilitation institutions.

(iii) To determine the criteria used in admitting/accepting an abused child in the rehabilitation institutions.

(iv) To identify the common integration methods used by the rehabilitation institutions to fit the rehabilitated children back into the society

(v) To identify the challenges facing the rehabilitation institutions in undertaking their duties and responsibilities.

Research Questions
The study sought to address the following research questions:

(i) What are the forms of child abuse among children admitted in rehabilitation institutions in Nakuru district?

(ii) What services are offered to the abused children in the rehabilitation institutions?

(iii) What criteria are used in admitting/accepting an abused child in the rehabilitation institutions?

(iv) What are the common integration methods used by the rehabilitation institutions to fit the rehabilitated children back into the society?

(v) What challenges face rehabilitation institutions in undertaking their duties and responsibilities?

Significance of the Study
In order to address the ever-increasing number of child abuse cases in the country, detailed studies are needed to evaluate the rehabilitation institutions and programmes that have been put in place to take care, protect, rehabilitate and later integrate abused children back into the society. This study was premised on the fact that evaluating rehabilitation and integration programmes in the rehabilitation institutions in Nakuru district is crucial in understanding the extent to which these institutions are able to restore the hope of these children in life; their success and failure; and the challenges they face in undertaking their duties and responsibilities. Such a study help in providing information that could be useful to the government, children institutions, rehabilitation centres, Children’s Department, policy makers and individual families in evaluating the ability of these institutions in rehabilitation and integration of abused children. The output of this study also help in providing input into projects and programmes that seek to address child abuse menace in the study area and the country at large.

Scope and limitations of the Study
The study focused on rehabilitation and integration of abused children in public and private rehabilitation institutions in Nakuru district of Rift valley province, Kenya. The district has two public rehabilitation institutions and 15 registered charitable children’s institutions. These institutions have a total population of 999 children with 118 from the public institutions and 881 from charitable children’s institutions (District Children’s Department, Nakuru). The district was chosen as a research site due to the available evidence of the ever increasing number of abused children in the area (Rift Valley Provincial Children’s Department, 2006). The study used both public and private rehabilitation institutions so as to adequately evaluate the operations of all institutions handing abused children in the area. It also targeted abused children aged 10 and above years as they were believed to be in a better position to recall what happened to them than their junior counterparts.

The study encountered a number of limitations which could impede answering the research objectives. These limitations included:

(i) The abused children were likely to have been stigmatised and even formed negative attitudes towards those people who committed the heinous abuses to them. This might have made potential respondents apprehensive about other people in the society, especially foreigners, and therefore affect development of a good rapport with the researcher. However, the researcher sought for the assistance of the caretakers in the institutions to assist in developing an amiable rapport with the respondents.

(ii) Time, manpower and financial resource constraints precluded a more comprehensive coverage of all the rehabilitation institutions in the study area. However, only three rehabilitation institutions and a sample of respondents were included in this study.

Assumptions of the Study
The study was based on the following assumptions:

(i) There were many cases of child abuse in Nakuru district.

(ii) The Children’s institutions in the district rehabilitate abused children and later integrate them back into the society.

(iii) The government supervises and regulates the activities of these institutions.

(iv) Rehabilitated children are easily integrated back into the society.

For more Guidance & Counseling Projects Click here
===================================================================
Item Type: Kenyan Material  |  Attribute: 65 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: KSh900  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
===================================================================

Share:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Search for your topic here

See full list of Project Topics under your Department Here!

Featured Post

HOW TO WRITE A RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

A hypothesis is a description of a pattern in nature or an explanation about some real-world phenomenon that can be tested through observ...

Popular Posts