Founders and Operators of Homes and Orphanages in Lagos State have received a stern call to strictly adhere to established rules and regulations in order to provide children in their care with the appropriate support, in line with international best practices. This imperative was underscored by Pharm (Mrs.) Toyin Oke-Osanyintolu, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Social Development, during her opening remarks at a Stakeholders Meeting with these key figures in the sector, held at Alausa Secretariat.

A Collaborative Approach Pharm (Mrs.) Oke-Osanyintolu emphasized that the purpose of this Stakeholders Meeting is to foster collaboration between the Ministry of Youth and Social Development and Home Operators. The objective is to collectively devise effective methods for ensuring the well-being of children under their care. She underscored the significance of this partnership, highlighting that working together would yield greater efficiency and effectiveness in safeguarding the welfare of the children.

Commitment to Vulnerable Children Pharm (Mrs.) Oke-Osanyintolu conveyed the commitment of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu to the well-being of vulnerable children in Lagos State, irrespective of their religious affiliation or state of origin. The governor aspires to create an environment where every child can realize their full potential, transcending their backgrounds, as he believes that today’s vulnerable children can become tomorrow’s leaders.

Praise for Collaborative Efforts Rev. Gabriel Oyedeji, the National President of the Association of Orphanages and Homes Operators in Nigeria (ASOHON), expressed gratitude for the fruitful relationship between their association and the Ministry of Youth and Social Development. He commended Lagos State for being the first to register as a member of ASOHON and praised the ministry for its swift response to issues affecting their sector. He expressed optimism for a more productive partnership.

Legal Framework and Compliance Mrs. Yemisi Ogunlola, Director of the Legal Department in the Ministry, emphasized the importance of Founders and Operators of Orphanages and Homes complying with the Child’s Rights Law. This law is grounded in international treaties, to which the Lagos State Government is a signatory. She explained that it is the responsibility of the Ministry to enforce this law and urged the Homes to register with the State Government. Mrs. Ogunlola stressed that compliance with regulations is crucial for both the Homes and the State.

Focus on Child’s Best Interest During the meeting, Mrs. Toyin Jaiyeola, Director of Social Welfare, and Mrs. Bukayo Odukoya, Director of Child Development Department, urged Home Operators to adopt practices that prioritize the best interests of the children under their care. They emphasized the importance of following due process when admitting children into their homes, ensuring that their well-being remains at the forefront of their actions.

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