Nineteen orphanages closed down in Central Region

Police2Nineteen orphanages and children’s homes in the Central Region have been closed down by the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) within the past three months.   

The institutions, according to the Department were operating below standards and without the appropriate licenses and documentation.   

Now the Region has only six licensed orphanages and children’s homes with two of such facilities operating in the Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem District.

Mrs Felicia Tetteh, Childcare Assistant at the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) made this known at a round table discussion with stakeholders on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.    

She said the exercise was to ensure that standards and safety measures for running such facilities were strictly adhered to.   

The forum, organised by the Ghana NGOs Coalition on the Rights of the Child was attended by child rights stakeholders in the Region including the Department of Children and Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice.    

The rest were the Ghana Education Service, Ghana Health Service, Department of Community Development and the  Domestic Violence, Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service as well as other civil society organisations (CSOs). 

It was aimed at assessing the level of implementation with respect to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and to give account on specific contributions to the full implementation of the concluding observations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.  

As part of its role in helping to reduce the influx of unauthorised orphanage homes, Mrs Tetteh said the DSW in partnership with “Kai me” a non-governmental organisation (NGO) conducted profiling of the children in the affected homes.  

She said through the activity it was discovered that most of the children were not orphans and based on that, the homes were closed down and the kids were sent to their parents or other relatives.
She said research undertaken by the Department indicated that many poor and irresponsible parents dumped their children in such institutions, while some NGOs exploited the situation. 

Mrs Tetteh said the Department had introduced new policies to streamline activities of orphanages, foster and children’s homes in order to eliminate unqualified operators to ensure the safety of inmates.  

She said the DSW encouraged foster care to keeping the children in an institution.
Mrs Tetteh noted that lack of parental control was a major challenge in the Region especially in the Cape Coast Metropolis.   

As a result, she said the DSW had set up a team to advise and monitor parents to ensure that they took full responsibility of their children and cared for them appropriately.   

The Regional Coordinator of DOVVSU, Deputy Superintendent of Police George Appiah-Sakyi pledged the readiness of the Ghana Police Service to protect and defend the well-being of children in the country.  

Mrs Baaba Brew Fleischer, the immediate past National President of the Ghana NGOs Coalition on the Rights of the Child expressed satisfaction about the inputs of the participants. 

She said the outcome of the discussion would be beneficial to the Government to be able to effectively report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child on the progress made in implementing the concluding observations of the committee.  

She said such discussions were useful because it offered the NGOs and CSOs the opportunity to share ideas together to adequately embark on effective advocacy.

Source: GNA

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