July 9, 2019 2:27 pm

The Department of Social Welfare under the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection is organizing a two-day orientation and training of the Regional Foster Care Placement Committees at the Forest Hotel in Dodowa, Accra from 9th to 10th July, 2019.

The workshop seeks to provide an ideal platform for reflection on the functions of the foster care committee and next steps for strategies development for the operations of the committees in each region across Ghana. It also aims at discussing common priorities, interest, opportunities, potential challenges, and strategies for the effective operationalisation of the foster care system and structures as provided for the Act,917 and Regulations.

Speaking at the opening day, the Minister for Gender, Children & Social Protection, Hon. Cynthia Mamle Morrison appealed to the committees to help the Ministry in its efforts to ensure the protection and promotion of the rights of children under foster care. She also urged them to always engage in good foster care practices which will promote the foster care system and structure in Ghana.

The Committees were set up by the Ministry in compliance with the Children’s (Amendment) Act, Act 2016 (Act 937) and their headed by the Regional Directors of Social Welfare.

Participants were made aware that Foster Care is a way of providing a family life for children who cannot live with their own parents due to a number of reasons and it is a temporal arrangement which can be for a short or long term.

Hon. Cynthia Morrison advised parents who are unable to care for their children to send them to the near-by children home instead of abandoning them to suffer their fate.

She also used the opportunity to highlight on some measures that the Ministry in collaboration with an NGO known as EYEH Soup Kitchen is putting in place to feed and provide health, education, psycho-social and spiritual support services for street children. According to her, they want to use this avenue to gain their attention and trust to help address their critical developmental needs.

According to one of the facilitators of the programme, Mr. Fred Sakyi Boafo, one main objective of the foster care is to return the child to his or her biological family as soon as possible and the foster parents play a key role in supporting the Department of Social Welfare and the biological family to achieve this goal. He also highlighted on the steps in becoming a licensed foster parent and why children go to foster homes.

He also mentioned that the District Assembly has a key role in the welfare and promotion of the rights of children within its area of authority and shall ensure that within the district, governmental agencies liaise with each other in matters concerning children.

Some participants present appealed to the Hon. Minister to use her good office to help lobby for more trained social workers to help augment the few hardworking ones to enable them achieve the core mandate of the Ministry.

Source: MoGCSP