Social Welfare - Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs - Social Welfare Related

This page is the frequently asked questions page for programmes under the Department of Social Welfare. It has frequently asked questions on Adoption, Forster Care, Gender-Based Violence as well as Social Cash Transfer. 


Forster Care

Gender Based Violence

What is adoption?

It is a child protection measure that creates a permanent legal parent-child relationship between the adoptee and the adoptive parent(s). It is a legal procedure in which all parental responsibility is transferred to the adoptive parents. 

Who can be adopted?

Any child in need of care who is below 21 years and has never been married before can be adopted

How long does it take to adopt a child?

The infant should have been continuously in the care and possession of the applicant for at least three months for Zambians and twelve months for foreign infants.

The applicant should have at least three months before the date of the order, notified the Commissioner for Juvenile Welfare of their intention to apply for an adoption order in respect of the infant. 

Can foreigners adopt a child from Zambia?

Yes. Any foreigner wishing to adopt a child in Zambia can do so. As long as they meet the legal requirements and the following documentation should be available; the home study report recommending the suitability of the adoptive parent, police clearance from the country of origin, financial statement, petition, application for adoption, foster

How can we ensure that when a child is adopted no claims will be made over him/her?

Subject to the provisions of Section 5 of the Adoption Act, an adoption order cannot be made:

(a) Except with the consent of a parent or guardian of such an infant.

(b) On the application of one of two spouses except with the consent of the other spouse

What is Foster Care?

Care provided to a child who has been legally placed in the care of a fit person who can be a relative to the child or persons who are not members of the child’s own family for a specified period of time by the Court upon recommendation by a Social Welfare Officer.

Who can foster a child?

Foster parents must be fit persons who are suitable to look after a child in need of care and are willing to do so.

What are the limitations in fostering?
  • A person from whose care any child has been removed,
  • Premises from which any child has been removed by reason that the premises are dangerous or unsanitary or so unfit as to endanger the health of a child.
  • By any person who has been convicted of an offence against a minor (child) and,
  • By any person excluded from taking care of the child due to ill health (e.g. chronically ill, insanity etc.)
What is gender based violence?

Gender-based violence (GBV) in Zambia takes the form of physical, mental, social or economic abuse against a person because of that person’s gender and includes violence that may result in physical, sexual or psychological harm and suffering to the victim. It may also include threats or coercion, or the arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether in public or private life

Is it an offence for people who have a domestic relationship to inflict physical, emotional, sexual violence and can this be considered to be a crime?

Domestic violence is a form of gender based violence and it is punishable by law.

What are the forms of gender based violence?

Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation, Sexual Exploitation and Violence.

What is the term given to persons who have been abused?

According to the Act persons who are abused are referred to as victims of abuse. Even though the Ministry and other stakeholders wish to refer to such persons as survivors of gender based violence due to the act of bravery that they have undergone by reporting the matter and even by providing evidence and also being witnesses in recounting the ordeal.

Who are the major victims of gender based violence?

While the men are also victims of gender based violence, studies have shown that women and children are the major victims of gender based violence.

Social Cash Transfer

What is the Social Cash Transfer programme?

The Social Cash Transfer (SCT) is a Government of Zambia Social Protection programme aimed at reducing extreme poverty and the inter-generational transfer of poverty. On the programme, beneficiaries receive cash grants of K150 per month (paid bi-monthly as K300) or K600 for households with members with severe disabilities.

What are the objectives of the SCT programme?

Income: To supplement household income for food security and wellbeing

Education: To contribute towards increasing the number of children enrolled and attending primary school education.

Health: To contribute towards reduction of mortality and morbidity among children under 5 years old.

Food Security: To contribute towards increase in the number of households having a second meal per day

Livelihoods: To contribute towards increase in the number of households owning assets such as livestock.

What criteria is used for selection of beneficiaries?

Beneficiary criteria includes: Residency criterion; Households with an elderly person; Households with members with severe disability; Households with members who are chronically ill and on palliative care; Child-headed households & Female-headed households with at least three children below the age of 19.

Who benefits from the SCT programme?

The extremely poor and incapacitated (labour-constrained) in Zambia. Apart from the beneficiary households, the benefits of the SCT programme also spill over to non-beneficiary community members in the form of greater economic activity.

Who pays for the SCT programme?

The SCT programme is primarily financed by a combination of GRZ and Cooperating Partners.

Do beneficiaries of the SCT programme have to fulfil any conditionalities?

No. Beneficiaries of the SCT programme do not have to fulfil any conditionalities, in terms of behaviours, practices or spending, to remain on the programme. Evidence has shown that implementing such conditionalities is difficult, expensive and unnecessary. In the case of Zambia, robust and rigorous impact evaluations have shown that beneficiary households spend the cash on improving livelihoods and human capital, as is intended by the programme even in the absence of conditionalities.

Can beneficiaries complain about the SCT Programme?

Yes. The SCT Programme has a Grievance Mechanism in each District to receive and resolve complaints from beneficiaries.

Do other countries have programmes similar to the SCT programme?

Yes, many countries worldwide are implementing cash transfer programmes as a strategy to reduce poverty and realize the basic rights of their people. South Africa, Brazil, Indonesia and Zambia are home to some of the oldest and largest cash transfer programmes. In Africa too, other countries are increasingly introducing or expanding cash transfer programmes, e.g. Kenya and Ethiopia.

Does the SCT programme create dependency?

No, to the contrary. Evidence from Zambia and across the globe shows that the Social Cash Transfer programme has been found to improve the livelihoods of beneficiary households and further generate economic activity in their communities. It is a special vehicle for human capital improvements and investments.

Translate »