Selected High Court Judges have been engaged in a two-day training programme on good practices in the judicial processes concerning the protection and care of children.
It was organised by Family Based Care Alliance (FaBCA), in partnership with the Judicial Training Institute (JTI), with support from Family for Every Orphan (AFFEO), a Non-Governmental Organisation.
The two-day workshop seeks to train and sensitise judges on their roles in alternative protection and care for children.
Mr Kingsley Kwayisi, the Lead Facilitator of FaBCA, said training’s objective was to review the current laws and policies relating to orphan and vulnerable children, identify the gaps and recommend improvements.
He said it also sought to work towards a declaration of inter-institutional commitment to best practices for children and childcare proceedings in view of the current good practice, laws and policies in Ghana.
Mrs Georgina Mensah-Datsa, a Justice of the Court of Appeal, speaking at the event, said issues with children were not ordinary and that everyone in the Judiciary Service must ensure children were protected.
She said the Judiciary had roles to play in holding parties accountable and it was important that they facilitated issues in the interest of children.
‘’we have to be creative and responsible in discharging our duties by way of case management relating to children, which the Social Welfare Department has to be involved,” Mrs Mensah Datsa said.
She said the challenges with records keeping from the right authorities, especially the social welfare, also delayed in clear orders without proper care and urged the Department to be involved in case management in matters relating to children.
Mrs Sheila Minkah–Premo, the Managing Consultant of Apex Law Consult, said it was important that people who wanted to go in for adoption be made to understand laws protecting children and should be eligible to taking good care of them.
“We will do our best to ensure that children are protected, especially if they cannot remain in their home with their parents, and will need to seek for alternative care, it must be done in accordance with the law,” she added.
Ms Ruth Sharon, a United Kingdom Child Protection Lawyer, said child care in any country was complicated and that Ghana needed to tighten the system and ensure that the laws were implemented to improve the lives of children.
Dr Comfort Asare, the Director, Department of Social Welfare, appealed to the Judiciary to examine and ensure that all required documents were presented to them to determine the outcome of cases, especially those involving children to help deal with irregularities in the system.
She said the Department faced challenges regarding shelter, counselling, education and character reformation, especially for children who had been committed to correctional centres and released on probation.
Dr Asare, therefore, called for support and urged parents to protect children from abuse, neglect and exploitation.