Government of Ghana to Resettle most children in orphanages with their families by 2012
"As a policy direction by Government"
In The National Plan of Action for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, 2010-12 signed by Hon. Enoch T. Mensah, the Minister for Employment and Social Welfare, and launched on the 27th October, 2010 it is foreseen that 60% of children in orphanages will be resettled with their families or in foster care.
The National Plan of Action for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, 2010-12 was created over a period of four years by a multi-sectoral committee of stakeholders and provides a costed and time bound framework with which all NGO’s working with children in the country should compile to.
In practice this means that most of the estimated 127 orphanages in the country will be closed down, leaving only one orphanage (government supervised) and one shelter per region.
Some of the reasons why orphanages have a negative impact on children include:
•Orphanages separate children from family and community life contributing to the breakdown of society
•Children grow up feeling that they cannot form a life-long attachment to a caregiver, which should provide the psychological security which every child needs
•Orphanages increase the risk that a child’s human rights will be violated: a child’s right to privacy, identity (ethnic & religious), and opportunity is compromised
•Changes in staffing, funding, and policies affect children -when there is a funding crisis, children find themselves on the street.
•Child abusers veer naturally toward orphanages as they house large groups of relatively unsupervised vulnerable children.Care in a home increases a child’s risk of abuse, because there is no single person that has overall responsibility for a particular child
•Orphanages are expensive and reach only a small number of children (the cost of operating an orphanage can be 6xs higher than the cost of caring for children in the community)
•Some orphanages start out as charities but then develop into businesses at the expense of the children; for example, donations & income are difficult to monitor resulting in large scale fraud
•Orphanages can be overcrowded which compromises sanitation and hygiene as well as development, because they provide little individual stimulation to children
De-institutionalization (the closing of orphanages) is a process; it is no good taking children out of “Orphanages” unless there is a safety net to take care of them in their communities such as extended family care and fostering
OrphanAidAfrica supplies for the children rescued from orphanages in Eastern, Central and Greater Accra regions, and their families:
• Small cashgrants
• NHIS registration (annually)
• Birth Certificate
• Free schooling aids (books, PTA dues, uniforms)
• Scholarships to further education
• Social worker follow up
• Budgets for tracing and reunification
• Grants for living quarters, start up capital