Creating a better kinship environment for children in Ghana: Lessons from young people with informal kinship care experience

Alhassan Abdullah, Ebenezer Cudjoe, Esmeranda Manful - Child & Family Social Work


Traditionally, the involvement of the extended family in nurturing children is seen as an essential cultural practice in most communities in Ghana. Though not formally regulated, often in the absence of birth parents, kin and kith continue to be involved in the care of children to promote family relations and culture. Yet there is little empirical evidence on how to improve the well‐being and safety of children in informal kinship care in Ghana. Thus, this study reports findings from in‐depth interviews with 15 young people, 18 to 23 years, from Banda—an ethnic group where informal kinship care is an accepted cultural practice. Data from the interviews were subjected to the constructivist grounded theory analysis. Adequate income for provision of basic needs, education and training, and supervision emerged as useful measures to promote the safety and well‐being of children in kinship care. It was recommended that informal kinship caregivers must be registered with the Department of Social Welfare to enable them access support and training. Further, social workers should create awareness among kinship caregivers in Ghana about their availability to provide counselling services for caregivers facing challenges.