Social work and social protection in Ghana

Authored by: Rose Korang-Okrah , Alice Boateng , Augustina Naami , Akosua Obuo Addo

The Handbook of Social Work and Social Development in Africa

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  October  2016

Print ISBN: 9781472468512
eBook ISBN: 9781315557359
Adobe ISBN: 9781317029380


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Social protection is the collective name given to Ghana’s premier poverty-alleviation policies. For the most part, social workers are engaged in social protection through remedial welfare provision. Most social workers are employed in the Department of Social Welfare, which is statutorily mandated to oversee the administration of juvenile justice and child protection. Historically, in Ghana, as in most parts of Africa, the extended family system has been the primary source of firstline care providing a social safety net to meet people’s basic needs. However, there are problems with this system (see Chapter 21). Though Ghana has taken bold steps to provide formal social protection to complement this overstretched traditional system, these programs are beset with challenges, including the ill-defined role of those charged with administering them. The chapter explores some of these challenges and social work’s role in addressing the needs of vulnerable groups in Ghanaian society.

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