PRESIDENT Uhuru Kenyatta today signed a new legal notice establishing the Child Welfare Society of Kenya as a Government Agency.
The Society has a statutory responsibility to provide services to all young persons across all sectors in Kenya especially marginalized and vulnerable children including orphans, young women and separated minors.
President Kenyatta signed the legal notice at his Harambee House office where he met with the Cabinet Secretary for Labour Kazungu Kambi and officials of Society
The purpose of the new law is to provide a legal framework within which the Society will function and operate.
Issues discussed between the President and officials of the Society included the protection of all children across the 47 counties where the society will execute its mandate.
As a state agency, the Society will undertake such other mandate and concerns as child trafficking, adoption matters including those sought by foreigners and rapid response mechanisms to children in duress.
The society will also provide rescue centres and foster care for separated and street children and address such other children rights issues as child labour.
The Society will also undertake advocacy issues on matters concerning young persons and children including on HIV and Aids.
The new legal framework will restore the functions, responsibilities, mandate and powers of the previous Society which were left out following the repeal of the Prevention of Cruelty to and Neglect of children Ordinance and the Children and Young Persons Act under which the Society was previously established.
The new Society will operate as a semi-autonomous government agency which will receive budgetary allocation from the National Treasury. The current budget allocation for the society for the year 2013/2014 is Sh 261 million for recurrent expenditure and another Sh 300 million for capital expenditure.
With the heavy state funding, the Society is the only public interest national organization with the competence, structure, geographical coverage and capacity to provide effective services to children.
Currently, the Society has assets and properties worth over Sh 1 billion spread across the country. The Society currently operates Children’s homes in Embu, Nanyuki, Isiolo, Kisii, Nairobi and Bungoma among other counties.