Integration to families of origin and the psychosocial adjustment of orphans in Bagamoyo, Tanzania

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Integrating children from orphanages back to their family of origin remains a challenge to many children’s homes in Tanzania. This study aimed at investigating the psychosocial challenges faced in the process of integrating the children back to their homes of origin. The study was guided by two research objectives namely, to examine the integration procedures used by orphanages and to establish strategies to help orphans adjust psychosocially in their family of origin in Bagamoyo District of Tanzania. The target population of the study was 57 orphans and 12 administrators from three orphanages in Bagamoyo District in Tanzania together with their 73 guardians. From this population a sample of 19 participants was chosen using purposive sampling, automatic inclusion and simple random sampling to participate in the study. Automatic inclusion was used to select administrators and simple random sampling was used to select relatives. The study employed the qualitative phenomenological research design. Data were collected using semi structured questionnaires and interview schedules. The collected data were analysed using thematic analysis backed by narratives from the participants. The results showed that integration of orphans into their families of origin was faced with challenges such as inappropriate procedures used by administrators in engaging orphans with their families, lack of proper procedures like debriefing, psycho-education and training for both relatives and the orphans. The study findings demonstrated that the integration process could be enhanced by involving local authorities such as chiefs, religious leaders, children officers and facilitating regular visits to the home of origin by the children. The findings may be relevant in guiding policy on the orphan integration to the family of origin. The study recommended that the administrators should start early the integration process, should involve as many authorities as possible during integration and also help orphans to bond with relatives early to avoid conflicts that may arise during integration.




Integration, Psychosocial Adjustment, Tanzania