Situation Analysis of Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Existing Alternative Care Systems in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Keywords:HIV and AIDS, orphans, vulnerable children, alternative care systems, family-based care, Tanzania
AbstractOrphans and vulnerable children are mostly suffering from inadequate care and support. Qualitative research method was employed to examine the situation of orphans and vulnerable children in existing alternative care systems in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Observation, semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions were employed in collecting data. The target population for the study was orphans and vulnerable children. The key informants, community leaders, care givers and social workers also participated in this study. Qualitative data were transcribed, coded and analyzed using Atlas.ti software. The findings revealed that poverty, HIV and AIDS, childhood pregnancies, family conflicts, separation, and child negligence, were some of the reasons for children placement in alternative care. The study further found out that children faced barriers to accessing alternative care such as poverty and AIDS, discrimination and stigmatization, and long processes involved in fostering and adoption. In addition the data revealed that some children were ill-treated in various alternative care systems. Development of a holistic approach to address care and protection needs for children, supporting children, poor families and communities; and promoting social welfare services to ensure adequate care for children without parental care were recommended based on the findings.