On May 13, the United States of America joined the Minister of Gender, Children, and Social Protection, Honorable Cynthia Morrison, to launch guidelines and regulations to strengthen the Ghanaian social welfare system. The use of these tools will regulate residential homes for children and promote family-based care. With funding from the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of Social Welfare will use the policy documents to advance the Government of Ghana's Care Reform Initiative. Launched in 2006, the initiative aims to help families care for their children; prevent unnecessary family-child separation; and promote appropriate, protective, and permanent family care. Members of the Department of Social Welfare, Department of Children, the Central Adoption Authority, and civil society partners joined the Honorable Minister and USAID/Ghana Mission Director, Ms. Sharon L. Cromer, to commemorate the occasion.
USAID supports the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection in the development and implementation of a policy and regulatory framework to promote family-based care and prevent the separation of children from their families. Through this support, the Ministry has developed National Standards for Residential Homes for Children; Standard Operating Procedures for Inspection of Residential Homes; Standard Operating Procedures for Case Management; and tools to establish and implement a formal foster care system. USAID's support also enables the Ministry to identify and monitor the numerous informal and unregulated residential homes for children throughout the country. USAID's investments also advance the reintegration of children into their original homes or into an alternative family-based setting. These interventions will help the Government of Ghana ensure that children grow up safely and healthy and reduce child trafficking, particularly in the cocoa and fishing industries.
In her remarks, Ms. Cromer reiterated the United States of America's support to the Ghanaian social welfare system by stating, "Today we solidify our commitment to offer every child the opportunity to grow up in a supportive and nurturing family environment. It is not only a human right accorded to them by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, but it is also critical to their health and development."