The care order places the child under the supervision of the probation and social welfare officer while leaving the child under the custody of his or her parents or guardian. This is to ensure that the child’s needs are well catered for and the proper general welfare of the child. A care order lasts for a maximum of 3 years and can be reviewed at least once a year.
The social welfare officer can make an application seeking a care order. The care order places the child in the care of a warden of an approved home or with foster parents. This normally happens where the child needs to be maintained but the circumstances under which the child is living are very unhealthy e.g. an abusive home/ environment. The parental responsibility in this category lies largely on the warden or foster parent. The PSWO has also the responsibility of working together with the parents or guardian to prepare for the child’s return.
Procedure of obtaining a care order:
- The PSWO before making the application shall be satisfied that the local government from village to the sub county level where the child resides have dealt with the matter without success.
- If the above is confirmed, the PSWO shall do a home visit and conduct an interview with the parents and with the child in case the child is of sufficient age to understand, for purposes of making a welfare report.
- A welfare report shall be made and shall contain matters relating to the welfare of the child and any recommendations to the actions to be taken by the Family and children’s court.
- The court can go ahead and grant the orders if satisfied with the welfare report.