Researching the linkages between social protection and children’s care in Ghana: LEAP and its effects on child well-being, care and family cohesion

Family for Every Child and the Centre for Social Protection

This report was written by Keetie Roelen and Helen Karki Chettri from the Centre for Social Protection (CSP) at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), with inputs and support from Family for Every Child and Challenging Heights, Ghana. The report investigates the links between child wellbeing, children’s care, family cohesion and the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty Programme (LEAP), a national social protection scheme in Ghana which aims to reduce extreme poverty in the country and is centred on providing cash transfers to the most vulnerable.

The research took place in two different localities in Central Region in Ghana, with more than 120 adults and 90 children interviewed. Some of the key findings of the study revealed that: LEAP plays a positive role in improving child well-being and quality of care; LEAP has the potential to prevent loss of parental care and support family reunification; benefits from LEAP do not benefit all children equally; implementation challenges undermine LEAP’s positive impact; cash transfer sizes and beneficiary caps compromise LEAP’s positive impact; and the potential role of cash transfers in incentivising kinship care presents mixed results. Based on the research, the report authors recommended the need to address implementation challenges; increase cash transfer size; build stronger linkages to social services and child protection structures; and strengthen sensitisation activities.