The number of vulnerable children in Nigeria has been on the increase over the years despite multi-sectoral efforts aimed at combating children vulnerability. Responding to the needs of vulnerable children remains a challenge in Nigeria and this has placed many children in precarious situations and challenges including limited or no access to health, education, nutrition, shelter and psychosocial services and support. This study examines situation of vulnerable children in Edo State, Nigeria. Qualitative descriptive design was adopted for the study while the population consisted of male and female vulnerable children, caregivers and gate keepers. Through purposive sampling, 40 vulnerable children, 16 caregivers and 8 gate keepers were selected from two communities in Oredo Local Government Area of the state. In-depth and Key Informant interview guides, as well as Focus Group Discussion guide were used for data collection. The qualitative data were sorted, transcribed and analysed in reference to the study objectives. The findings of the study revealed several categories of vulnerable children in the state, in addition to numerous challenges in the areas of shelter and protection, parental care, health, education, nutrition and psychosocial support and services. The study concluded that the situation of vulnerable children is a major public health problem in Edo State, hence, the need for an effective multi-sectoral response and intervention. The study therefore recommends that, OVC interventions should focus on strengthening income and other economic generating capacity of caregivers; Civil Society Organisations should advocate for the domestication and enforcement of laws and policies on protection and rights of vulnerable children in the state.
Keywords: Situational analysis, vulnerable children, future intervention