By Prudence Minayo
The sad reality of life is that while some children enjoy the loving care of a parent or parents, have food on their table and a warm bed to rest their weary bones, some don’t. A good number of children cannot afford these privileges. Other children find themselves abused and rescue centres become their homes.
Charitable children institutions (CCIs) are the best option for vulnerable children to acquire a somewhat normal life and a few individuals, corporates and religious institutions have opened them.
In as much as some people want to open a home, they will need documentation at some point or risk closure and prosecution in some cases. There is a legal process that has to be followed for the home to be licensed. The license comes at a fee and is renewable after three years. It is very vital as it enables you to legally run the home and helps in the acquisition of government grants.
The process of registering
- Name search. A name offers a sense of identity not just for people but organizations as well. The first thing for you to do is find a suitable name for the home. This can be done by visiting Huduma center and registering your name. They will tell you whether the name is being used by another institution which may prompt you to find a different name. To be safe, just come up with a couple of names. Once the name has been registered, you proceed to the next step.
- Visit the National council for Children’s Services (NCCS) armed with the name of the institution. You will also be required to provide the following documents:
- Certificate of good conduct for yourself, board members and people that you plan to work with
- Community assessment report. Before deciding to establish a children’s home in a certain area, you’ll be required to do a research on the community. This research will be included in this report and it indicates whether the particular community really needs a children’s home.
- Financial plan. Where will you get the money to run the home?
- Account books
- The Constitution. Contains the rules and regulations under which the institution will operate under.
- Site plan for the place the children’s home will be situated
- Property ownership evidence, that is, title deed.
- Public health inspection report
- Minutes of the area advisory committee meeting
- Area advisory committee inspection report
- List of board members or trustees
- Behavior management policy for children.
- Curriculum Vitae (CV) for all the staff
- Medical report of food handlers
- Plan of the program, for example how many children the institution can cater for.
- Children’s complaint procedure
- Human resource policy
- Filling of forms. An application form will be given to you fill it and submit
- Submitting to the area advisory committee. After filling the forms and ensuring everything is in place, submit it to the Area Advisory Committee, in your area.
- Acknowledging receipt. The Area Advisory Committee will acknowledge that they received the application within 30 days after receipt date. It should not exceed thirty days. They shall indicate the date when premises should be inspected
- Inspection. Finally the Area Advisory Committee will visit the place to conduct an inspection. If the premise is satisfactory then the committee with the approval of NCCS, shall recommend it to the Ministry of Labor and Social Protect to issue the certificate.
The certificate will be issued after three months.
Starting a children’s home is one way to assist vulnerable children with no place to go. After following the above procedure and meeting all the requirements, your home is going to be legally recognized by the government.
However, starting home is a very huge step. While you could end up helping hundreds, you may also end up ruining innocent lives if not careful. Cases of children being abused in CCIs is not new. If you are not sure of providing protection, then don’t open your doors.