Nigeria has one of the largest burdens of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) in the world. In response to these challenges, the Federal Government in Nigeria initiated and adopted the Child Rights Act (CRA) and the National Guideline and Standard of Practice (NGSP) for OVC. However, there is very limited rigorous research evidence and data on the implementation of these intervention policies. It is important for the policy makers and program leaders to make well-informed decisions about the way forward. The study assessed the knowledge about the relevant documents and legislation for the protection of OVC in Nigeria and identified the challenges with its implementation among stakeholders in Benin City. Using a cross-sectional study design with both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection, a pretested self administered questionnaire and Key Informants Interview were used to collect data from 11 heads of Orphanages and 33 stakeholders such as heads of the support institutions, policy decision makers and regulators of the orphanages. All (100.0%) of the policy makers had good knowledge of the policy, followed by the heads of orphanages (45.5%) and heads of support institutions (36.0%). The Child Rights’ Act was the most common National policy on OVC mentioned by 57.8% of them. A high proportion (45.0%) was of the opinion that the policies have in no way been implemented in Benin City. Major challenges with the implementation of the policies mentioned were inadequate funds, defective monitoring of the activities of the OVC, no adequate budget line and shortage of staff. Training and retraining of the heads of orphanages and support institutions on the relevant policies on OVC and allocation of more funds and services to the orphanages are recommended.
Key words: Child Rights Act, National Guideline and Standard of Practice, OVC, policy makers, stakeholders.
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