National Standards for Residential Homes for Children in Ghana

UNICEF Ghana, Department of Social Welfare of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection

The revised Standards outlined in this document are aimed at strengthening the first National Standards for Residential Homes for Children (RHC) in Ghana, developed in 2010. The Standards set out guidance on the admission of children into RHC and reintegration of children with their families. Among the updates made to these Standards are "provisions on the use of volunteers in RHC as a safeguard against orphanage 'volunteerism' which has been shown to not only impact negatively on children’s well-being but also actively encouraging the proliferation of residential homes."

"The revised national standards together with the check-list that speaks directly to evidences needed to measure compliance affirm the Government’s position that the goal of all RHC in Ghana must be to provide temporary, short-term care and to reunify children with their parents or find family-based care alternative within the shortest time possible. Residential care should never be used as a primary or long-term alternative care solution, as it cannot replace the loving care of family and too often fails to meet the developmental needs of children. This is particularly the case for children aged 0 – 3 years as the negative impacts of institutional care are especially damaging for these young children."