Social work practice in child and family welfare in Ghana

Authored by: Kwabena Frimpong-Manso , Anastasia Kpei Mawudoku

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

10.4324/9781315557359.ch7

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Abstract

Ghana in West Africa has a population of nearly 27 million people, half of whom are children younger than 18 years of age. It is a unitary presidential constitutional democracy comprising 10 administrative regions decentralised into 216 municipal, metropolitan, and district assemblies. As a lower-middle-income country, Ghana has experienced rapid economic growth and political stability in the last two decades (Breisinger, Diao, Kolavalli, Al Hassan, & Thurlow, 2011). Significant strides have been made in reducing childhood poverty in recent years, with the population living in extreme poverty halved. In spite of its political and economic successes and its status as the first African country to sign the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (United Nations, 1989) in 1990, child welfare problems persist in Ghana (Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs & UNICEF, 2011). This chapter provides a comprehensive picture of the child protection system in Ghana and an insight into the reforms in progress. It begins with an overview of contemporary child and family welfare issues, and the relevance of practice interventions available to child and family social workers, before reflecting on the new Child and Family Welfare System (CFWS) and how the change in practice focus addresses the gaps in the old system.

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