The three-day consultation drew constructive engagement and discussion from everyone present, and concluded with the issuing of a call for action by the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare, titled “Accelerating Child Care Reform in Zambia.” The document encourages other ministries, cooperating partners, civil society and other stakeholders to support actions including the establishment of a national technical working group on child care reform, the development of a national alternative care framework and the undertaking of research and evidence building.
Other takeaways include the focus on supporting children with disabilities, which was well-addressed by the government and the call for action, and the necessity of strengthening the social welfare workforce by improving training and accreditation. In the country of more than 14 million people, there are only 274 social welfare officers—actors key to our work. The next step after the consultation will be the formation of a technical working group on alternative care. This group will incorporate expertise from the current group of GHR partners and broaden participation to a larger number of stakeholders in Zambia.
To learn more about how GHR is working toward a world where all children are living in a stable, positive, long-term family or family-like environment, contact us.