The United States of America has partnered the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection, to launch guidelines and regulations to strengthen Ghana’s social welfare system.
The use of these tools will regulate residential homes for children and promote family-based care. With funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of Social Welfare is expected to use the policy documents to advance the ‘Care Reform Initiative.’
Launched in 2006, the initiative aims to help families care for their children; prevent unnecessary family-child separation; and promote appropriate, protective, and permanent family care.
Members of the Department of Social Welfare, Department of Children, the Central Adoption Authority, and civil society partners joined the Minister of Gender, Children, and Social Protection, Cynthia Morrison and USAID/Ghana Mission Director, Ms. Sharon L. Cromer, to commemorate the occasion.
USAID supports the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection in the development and implementation of policy and regulatory framework to promote family-based care and prevent the separation of children from their families.
Through this support, the Ministry has developed National Standards for Residential Homes for Children; Standard Operating Procedures for Inspection of Residential Homes; Standard Operating Procedures for Case Management; and tools to establish and implement a formal foster care system.
USAID’s support also enables the Ministry to identify and monitor the numerous informal and unregulated residential homes for children throughout the country. It’s investments also advance the reintegration of children into their original homes or into an alternative family-based setting.
In a press statement after the event, the USAID said these interventions will help to ensure that children grow up safely and healthy and reduce child trafficking, particularly in the cocoa and fishing industries.
Ms. Cromer reiterated America’s support of the local social welfare system. She said the intervention solidifies America’s “commitment to offer every child the opportunity to grow up in a supportive and nurturing family environment.”
She noted that it is not only a human right accorded to them by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, but it is also critical to their health and development.