USA Lends Support to Ghana Social Welfare System

Mrs Cynthia Morrison
Mrs Cynthia Morrison

The United States in collaboration with the Government of Ghana (GoG) on Monday launched guidelines and regulations to strengthen the Ghanaian social welfare system.

The launch, which had Mrs Cynthia Morrison, the Minister of Gender, Children, and Social Protection representing the GoG is expected to use the guidelines and regulations as tools to regulate residential homes for children and promote family-based care.

A statement from the Public Affairs Section of the US Embassy in Ghana to the Ghana News Agency explained that with funding from the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of Social Welfare would use the policy documents to advance the GoG’s Care Reform Initiative.

Launched in 2006, the statement said, the initiative aimed at helping families care for their children, prevent unnecessary family-child separation, and promote appropriate, protective, and permanent family care.

The statement noted that members of the Department of Social Welfare, Department of Children, the Central Adoption Authority, and civil society partners joined the Minister as well as the USAID/Ghana Mission Director, Ms Sharon L. Cromerto commemorate the occasion.

“USAID supports the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection in the development and implementation of a policy and regulatory framework to promote family-based care and prevent the separation of children from their families,” the statement said.

Through this support, it disclosed that the Ministry had 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.

The statement said USAID’s support would also enable the Ministry to identify and monitor the numerous informal and unregulated residential homes for children throughout the country.

USAID’s investments also advance the reintegration of children into their original homes or into an alternative family-based setting and the interventions would help the GoG to reduce child trafficking, particularly in the cocoa and fishing industries and ensure that children grow up safely and healthily.

According to the statement, Ms. Cromer reiterated the US’ support to the Ghanaian social welfare system.

She said: “Today we solidify our commitment to offer every child the opportunity to grow up in a supportive and nurturing family environment. 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.”

USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realise their potential.

USAID’s activities and strategic partnerships promote Ghana’s journey to self-reliance and its “Ghana Beyond Aid” agenda.

It also works to advance an integrated approach to development by promoting accountability, sustainable systems, and inclusive development.

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