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CWSK was established in the emergency period when the country was fighting for independence. During the Mau Mau era thousands of children were made homeless by the war as their parents were killed in the way and many taken into detention. The CWSK was established in order to take care of these children who were destitute, homeless and without adults to take care of them. CWSK handled thousands of children and was given budgetary allocation for distress and relief by the government to ensure children who were in distress and ensured that children did not go to the streets or approved school. The children that needed welfare were all supported by CWSK while those that were regarded as vagrants or in conflict with the law were given to children’s department approved schools by then under the prisons.


CWSK was gazzetted as an Approved Society, gazzetted in 1955 for control, welfare and care of children and young persons. Gazette notice no. 1768 of 19/12/1955, an exempt society gazette notice 1536 of 04/11/1955 and certificate of exemption from registration number 455.
CWSK was the first organization to lobby for the first children legislation in 1955 the Prevention of Cruelty to and Neglect of Children’s Ordinance.
CWSK also spearheaded the child rights campaigns in the 70s and 80s which helped Kenya to sign the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child in 1989 and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child in 2000.
CWSK Mandated to provide welfare for children in all districts (counties). Had approved officers and gazzetted its own officers to go to court and give court reports. For example custody reports, home studies, reunification, foster care reports among others.


CWSK became the Save the Children Kenya Branch in 1956. During this period, professional foundations were laid down with expertise from Save the Children on child protection; care and welfare.


CWSK was a lead agency in the writing of the Children’s Bill, Cap 141 of 1963 (now repealed) and is also on record for having played a key role in the writing of other children’s bills.


CWSK was gazzetted as the National Adoption Society of Kenya vide gazette notice No. 1356 of 28/4/1969.,
CWSK successfully petitioned Attorney General to have the government review the adoption law.
CWSK played a key role in the writing of other children’s bills namely:-Cap 143 of 1969 (now repealed)-Adoption Act & Guardianship and Infants Act.


CWSK was lead agency in the review of the adoption act 1975 now repealed.


CWSK was instrumental in advocating for the implementation of UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)


CWSK spearheaded child participation in Kenya


CWSK was among lead agencies in advocating for the signing of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child in Kenya.


CWSK was instrumental in developing the Children Act 2001


CWSK was instrumental in developing the following:
adoption regulations
Charitable Children’s Institution Regulations
National Policy on OVCs


CWSK was instrumental in advocating for the implementation of UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
CWSK made the biggest response to emergency to address psychosocial needs of children in emergency during the post election violence where 8,165 separated children were registered and 6,165 were reunified with their families.
CWSK successfully led a collaborative programme on identification, registration, tracing and reunification of separated children in the 2007/8 post-election violence.


CWSK carried a premier research on adoption in Kenya and launched the 1st adoption research report.
Launch of the pilot project on self-representation in court report


Restatement of government budgetary allocation to CWSK.
Influenced GOK policy for increased budgetary allocation to the children sector.
Influenced GOK policy for reinstatement of CWSK budgetary allocation.
Training manual for charitable children’s institutions in Kenya
National standards for best practices in charitable children’s institutions.


CWSK became the first children’s agency to influence policy through public hearings for the parliamentary committee where as a result the GOK budgetary allocation to the children’s sector was increased.
Influenced policy to have the inclusion of children issues in the medium term GOK budget policy statement which is very critical being a transitional government paper.


Child Welfare Society of Kenya became a State Corporation for the care, protection, welfare and adoption of children vide Legal Notice No. 58 of 23/05/2014. It is the National Adoption Society for Kenya and the National Emergency Response, Welfare and Rescue Organization for children. The government agency was established and gazetted in 1955 as an approved society gazette notice 1768 of 27/12/1955, an exempt society gazette notice 1536 of 04/11/1955, Certificate of Exemption number 455 and the Adoption Society for Kenya, gazette notice No. 1356 of 28/04/1969.