Over the past decade, Egypt has witnessed several changes in relation to its alternative care system for orphans and children without parental care. Starting 2014, the Egypt government along with Civil Society actors started to adopt the UN General Assembly guidelines on Alternative Care; which call on States to take solid actions to develop their respective deinstitutionalization strategy that aims towards the progressive elimination of institutional cares and prompting family-based care approaches for children deprived of parental care. According to the current situation, kafala is the main alternative family- based care option practiced in Egypt. Generally, there is very limited academic research published on the alternative care system in Egypt. Accordingly, this study is presented to contribute to filling this research gap by analyzing the effectiveness of the alternative child care governance framework, specifically the kafala system, informed by the coordination and collaboration established between the State authorities and civil society actors including community initiatives. The study also aims to capture alternative families' experience throughout their kafala journey as end users. A qualitative research methodology was used for this research as 10 key informants were interviewed besides hearing from 11 alternative families to gain insights on their experience. The main findings of this research identify that several key outcomes have been achieved including the development of a national strategy, legislative amendments, strengthening the technical expertise, existing monitoring mechanisms and generating more discussion around the kafala topic. The findings also show that there was no consensus among alternative families' views on their kafala journey as some alternative families have talked positively about the process and the support they have received from their social affairs workers and available services while others have voiced their frustration and disappointment in regards to specific procedures such as the mental health assessment and the length of the process and staff capacities. The study concludes with several recommendations to MoSS, the government entity entrusted with the alternative care file in Egypt, to further enhance the kafala reform process including: strengthening the coordination mechanisms established, revising the new legislatives from a child-centered lens, developing the capacity of MoSS workers, establishing different child friendly accountability mechanisms and reviewing the end user experience of alternative families.
School of Global Affairs and Public Policy
Public Policy & Administration Department
MA in Public Administration
Dr. Ghada Barsoum
Committee Member 1
Dr. Nivine El-Kabbag
Committee Member 2
Dr. Laila El-Baradei
Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval
Approval has been obtained for this item
El Azzazy, H.
(2023).Alternative Child Care Governance: The Kafala Family-Based Care Arrangement in Egypt [Master's Thesis, the American University in Cairo]. AUC Knowledge Fountain.
El Azzazy, Heba. Alternative Child Care Governance: The Kafala Family-Based Care Arrangement in Egypt. 2023. American University in Cairo, Master's Thesis. AUC Knowledge Fountain.