Alternative Care
for Children in Uganda
A government and civil society partnership
to support the Alternative Care Framework

Special Needs Respite Care

In the case where a family does not have the resources to look after a severely disabled child, short, medium or long-term respite care can be the solution to help the family cope. This care can be provided in the family home or at a residential facility. The natural parents remain as guardians and professional support is provided to care for the child.

For many children with disabilities, assistance and support are prerequisites for participating in society. The lack of necessary support services can make people with disabilities overly dependent on family members and can prevent both the person with disability and the family members from becoming economically active and socially included.

In the community, not segregated

Throughout the world people with disabilities have significant unmet needs for support and this is true for Uganda. No one model of support services will work in all contexts and meet all needs, but the overarching principle promoted by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (pdf 450 KB) is that services should be provided in the community, not in segregated settings.

An example of this principle is the preference for an HIV positive child to live in a family (provided with medical and economic support as appropriate), rather than create residential facilities or villages specifically for HIV positive children. For children with hearing or visual impairment, special educational facilities need to be provided, which may by their location, need to provide residential facilities.

In all cases, it is important that children feel part of a family and a community, rather than feel segregated and apart throughout their whole childhood.