Vulnerable children, alternative care system and placement decision in Nigeria: In who’s best interest?

Chinwe U. Nnama-Okechukwu, Nkemdilim P. Anazonwu, Uzoma O. Okoye


Background: Alternative care system has been found to provide children in need of care and protection with a safe haven pending their unification back to their family of origin. There is however concerns with the process leading to children going into alternative care system.

Data Source and Method: Focus Group Discussion (FGD) was used as the main source of data collection. Purposive and snowball sampling method were used in selecting 64 participants from a rural and urban setting for the study.

Result: Findings revealed that placement decisions are made by extended family members and friends with little or no active participation of the child in need of placement.

Conclusion: Findings suggest the need to have professional social workers. Professional social workers will help in the monitoring and assessment of the suitability of the placement for children in alternative care system.


Alternative care system, Best interest, Placement decision, South East Nigeria, Vulnerable children

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