According to God’s design, children are to grow up in families. There is no substitute. Our family-based orphan care model works to see all kids raised in loving families.
Tanzania has gone through a gamut of strategies for caring for orphans in their communities. Traditionally, a child that becomes orphaned would automatically go to a relative or be raised in their village. For a child that tragically loses one or both parents, this is the best alternative and one that we fully support and desire to preserve. However, being raised by a relative or in their village, is no longer the situation for many children.
A perfect storm has ravaged sub-Saharan Africa that has left many vulnerable children in it’s wake. Diseases like HIV/AIDS and Malaria have devastated many communities. At the same time, people have been losing village identities as they move to urban areas. In the midst of these transitions, countless orphanages have popped up and taken children into their care. While some of these have institutions have good intentions, many do not. Regardless of intent, all of them fall short of what a child truly needs.
Kingdom Families offers three services to support children to be in families. Foremost, we work through our pastoral network to identify vulnerable families at risk of relinquishing their children, then take appropriate measures to ensure the family remains intact. This is called family preservation or orphan prevention. Second, many children have been placed in orphanages despite having parents and family that could be taking care of them. Finding measures to support families to reunify is the most effective way of freeing children from institutional care. Third, for children that don’t have the capability to return to their family or their family of origin is unknown, foster and adoptive families are needed. Kingdom Families works to promote both children being made available for adoption while also encouraging local Christian families to adopt.
Our program works together with the local social welfare and community development offices. It is the desire of the government to see children in families and we act as the go-between for their office and families in our program. Our on-staff social worker monitors and supports our families making sure that they have what they need to lead their family with excellence.