Resources - Browse resources for a particular region or country here.

Ghana

Demographic Data

  • Total Population: 26.79 million
  • Population under 15: 39%
  • Life Expectancy at Birth: 61 years
  • Human Development Index: 140 out of 188
  • World Bank Status: Lower middle income
  • HIV/AIDS Prevalence: 1.5%
  • Mean Household Composition: 3.5 members
  • Female-Headed Households: 34%
  • Early Marriage (% of children married by 18 years): 21%

Sources: World Bank, UNICEF, UNDP HDR 2015, DHS 2014

Demographic Data

Demographic Data

Add New Data Explore Data
44
GINI Coefficient
Data source: World Bank, 2016
30.42 million
Total Population
Data source: World Bank, 2019
38.3%
Population Under 18
 
Data source: 2010 Population and Housing Census
lower middle-income country
World Bank GNI Status
Data source: World Bank, 2019
1
Medium Human Development
Human Development Index
Data source: UNDP, 2019
23.4%
Living Below Poverty Line
 
Data source: World Bank, 2019
4
People
Mean Household Size
Data source: DHS, 2014
34.8%
Prevalence of Female-Headed Households
 
2019 MIS

Children's Living Arrangement

Children's Living Arrangements

Add New Data Explore Data
%
Country
 
NO SOURCE GIVEN
52.5%
Living with Both Parents
 
MICS 2017/18
30.6%
Living with One Parent
 
MICS 2017/18
16.6%
Living with Neither Parent
 
MICS 2017/18
%
Effective
 
NO SOURCE GIVEN

Children Living without Biological Parent

Children Living Without Biological Parents

Add New Data Explore Data
93.8%
Living in Kinship Care
 
MICS 2017-2018
2%
Living in a Non-Relative Household
 
MICS 2017-2018
77%
Both Parents Alive
 
MICS 2017-2018
18%
One Parent Dead
 
MICS 2017-2018
5%
Both Parents Dead
 
MICS 2017-2018

Children at Risk of Separation

Children at Risk of Separation

Add New Data Explore Data
28.2%
Children living below poverty line
 
National Development Planning Commission, 2020
i
Raw data from Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS7)
Children affected by HIV
26,000
Children
UNAIDS
i
*Children aged 0 to 14 living with HIV
Street Connected Children
61,492
Children
Department of Social Welfare. 2011. Census on street children in Greater Accra Region, Ghana
i
In 2011, a census of street-connected children was conducted by the Department of Social Welfare in the Greater Accra Region. This census counted a total of 61,492 street children. In 2019, it is estimated that close to 100,000 children in Greater Accra are being forced to beg on the streets (Participatory Development Associates. 2020. The State of Child Protection in Ghana)
94%
Children experiencing violence
 
Data source: MICS 2017/18
i
Percentage of children age 1-14 years who experienced some form of violent discipline

Formal Alternative Care Arrangements

Formal Alternative Care Arrangements

Add New Data Explore Data
0 Families/Parents
0 Children
NO SOURCE GIVEN
0 Families/Parents
0 Children
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Total Family-Based Alternative Care
- - Families/Parents
- - Children
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Foster Care
544 Foster Families/Foster Parents
201 Children
i
201 children are currently living in formal foster care (103 male, 98 female). 544 foster parents have been trained and licensed by DSW (90 male and 454 female).
Department of Social Welfare, Nov 2020
Formal Kinship Care
- - Families/Parents
- - Children
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Total Residential Care
141 Settings
3,530 Children
i
According to DSW (Nov 2020), there are currently 3856 children in residential care
Department of Social Welfare and UNICEF, Children Living in Residential Care in Ghana: Findings from a survey of well-being, DSW and UNICEF, New York, 2020
Institutions
0 Settings
0 Children
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Residential
0 Settings
0 Children
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Transit Centres/Shelters
0 Settings
0 Children
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Lancet Global Study Estimate of Children Living in Institutional Care
39,233 Children
i
Lower Bound: 38898.47 Upper Bound: 39567.05
Desmond, et al, 2020

Adoption

NO DATA AVAIABLE
Country
NO SOURCE GIVEN
41
children
Domestic Adoption
Central Adoption Authority, 24 Nov 2020
i
Jan-Nov 2020
20
children
Inter-country Adoption
Central Adoption Authority, 24 Nov 2020
i
Jan-Nov 2020
NO DATA AVAIABLE
Effective
NO SOURCE GIVEN

Key Reform Indicators/Progress Markers

Progress Indicators

Add New Data Explore Data
Country
 
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Effective
 
NO SOURCE GIVEN
US$ 129.30 million
Social Welfare Spending
NO SOURCE GIVEN
i
Local Ordinance Order No. 66 mandates the Department of Social Welfare under the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) as the responsible agency to regulate and coordinate alternative care in Ghana. Guided by the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the Children’s Amendment Act (2016), and the Child and Family Policy, the Department of Social Welfare and its abled workforce has set in place mechanisms and programs to prevent and protect children from abuse, neglect and exploitation. Additionally, specific legislative instruments (LIs) have targeted different reforms in the department including the foster care LI (2018) 2361, Adoption Regulation (2018) LI 2360, the Social Protection Policy, and the Justice for Children Policy. The Department of Social Welfare is responsible for coordinating all activities and stakeholders involved in childcare reform including the regional and district offices. Following the approval of the Local Government Service Act 2003 and the LI 1961, the district and regional offices now report directly to the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and the Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs) respectively. The Government of Ghana through the MOGSCP is the primary funding source of the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection and the Department of Social Welfare’s work. Following the recent development of the National Medium-Term Development Policy Framework (NMTDPF) by the MoGSC, 97.1% (US$ 129,297,418.39) of the total budget has been budgeted for provision of social services including alternative care, 92% of which goes directly to disbursements under the LEAP and the Ghana School Feeding Program (GSFP). Donors and development partners have also played an essential role in financing alternative care activities including reforms. Of the budget targeted by the MoGSC via the NMTDPF, donors contribute 4.2% mainly in the areas of social protection (86.7%), social services (10%) and domestic violence and child trafficking (5%). Social Protection, social services and securing inclusion for disability fall into a broader subsection of social development which takes 97% of the entire budget of the MoGSCP. Major donors in the space include USAID, World Bank and UNICEF.
Alternative Care Policy in Line with the 2009 Guidelines
 
Yes
Child and Family Welfare Policy. UNICEF, Government of Ghana, 2017
i
Child and Family Welfare Policy emphasizes alternative care along with the 2009 Alternative Care Guidelines. Regulations have been adopted on Adoption and Foster care. Amendments to the Children's Act have been approved that strengthen family-based care.
Centralised Authority on Adoption
 
Yes
Central Adoption Authority, Intersectoral Adoption Board
i
- Amended part IV (foster care and adoption) and consequential provisions of the Children’s Act, 1998, (Act 560) by the enactment of the Children’s (Amendment) Act, 2016 Acct 937 with additional safeguards that conform to the Articles of The Hague Convention. - Ghana acceded to the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption which came into force on January 1st 2017. - Establishment of the Central Adoption Authority in 2017 and inauguration of the Intersectoral Adoption Board to co-ordinate adoptions in Ghana, collaborate and co-operate with Central Authorities abroad in administering intercountry adoption among other functions imposed on it by The Hague Convention. - Adoption Regulations came into effect on Friday 27 July 2018 to regulate adoption in Ghana and the accreditation of adoption agencies.
Commitment to Deinstitutionalistion
 
Yes
Guidelines for Deinstitutionalisation of Residential Homes for Children. Department of Social Welfare, UNICEF, 2020
i
In 2017, DSW developed a five-year roadmap for the deinstitutionalisation of children that aims to close sub-standard residential care facilities and placed more children in foster care. In 2020, DSW developed deinstitutionalisation guidelines to assist the facilities to shift their activities to community and family strengthening.
Comprehensive Child Protection Law
 
Yes
Children's Act 1998, (560) amended in 2016 to include foster care and adoption
Continuum of Alternative Care Services Available
 
No Data
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Data System
 
Limited
NO SOURCE GIVEN
i
DSW developed a system to collect data of children in formal system care (Manual for Routine Monitoring. Government of Ghana, UNICEF, USAID, Measure Evaluation, 2019) but is not effective and not able to generate regular reliable data. The MoGCSP developed and is rolling out a Social Welfare Information Management System (SWIMS) which is a case management IMS that is able to generate data of children handled by case workers including children in different care arrangement. SWIMS is being piloted and will be scaled up to 260 districts by 2023.
Existence of a Regulatory Body and Regulatory System
 
Yes
Children’s Act, 1998, (Act 560), Foster Care Regulation (2018), Adoption Regulation (2018).
Gatekeeping Mechanism/Policy
 
Mostly
Children in Need of Care and Protection: Standard Operating Procedures. Government of Ghana, 2018
i
DSW developed Case Management Standard Operating Procedures for children in need of care and protection include gatekeeping mechanisms. Gatekeeping is primarily coordinated by the district social worker who ensures children are directed into the appropriate care. In line with the CRI, district social welfare officers aim to direct children to family-based care. Not so many people know about the official gatekeeping procedures, as such, informal players have over time, played a critical role in deciding the form of care a child receives. These informal actors more often than not, ignore the official procedures and process. For example, a policeman who finds a child roaming, instead of taking the child to the District Social Welfare Officer, they will show up in a care home with the child and expect the care home owners to take the child. For most social welfare officers, this situation creates another challenge where children are unregistered with the district, resulting in no follow up of children placed in alternative care.
Means of Tracking Progress with Reforms
 
Partly
NO SOURCE GIVEN
i
In 2018, DSW with stakeholders conducted an assessment of the alternative care system and developed an action plan to guide the reform
Moratorium on Admission into Institutions for Children Under 3
 
No
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Moratorium on New Institutions
 
No
NO SOURCE GIVEN
National Action Plan to Guide Reforms
 
Partly
NO SOURCE GIVEN
i
Since 2007, GoG launched the Care Reform Initiative which is still ongoing. In 2018, DSW with stakeholders conducted an assessment of the alternative care system and developed an action plan to guide the reform
National Standards of Care
 
Yes
National Standards for Residential Homes for Children in Ghana. Government of Ghana, UNICEF, 2018; National Standards for Foster Care in Ghana. UNICEF, Department of Social Welfare, 2020
i
In 2018, DSW revised the National Standards for Residential Care. In 2020, DSW developed National Standards for Foster Care in Ghana
Prevention of Separation Services Available
 
Limited
NO SOURCE GIVEN
i
The strategic plan of the DSW aims to link the poorest families at risk of separation to the LEAP. Yet, a clear operational plan to implement this at the district level is lacking. Furthermore, for families that live slightly above the poverty line (US$ 3.2 or 18.7 Ghana Cedis) but with an increased risk of separation, LEAP is not an option. The eleventh objective of the care reform initiative reinforces the idea of linkage of vulnerable families to the LEAP; The objective reads, ‘Provide Fund for care and support packages that enable children to remain with their families established’. Nonetheless, like the strategic plan, there is no actionable blueprint for implementation. The criteria for selecting households for enrollment unto the LEAP includes a dimension of orphans and vulnerable children. This however excludes children at risk of becoming social orphans, the majority of who without any intervention will land in alternative care especially residential homes.
Support for Careleavers (in Legislation and in Practice)
 
Partly
NO SOURCE GIVEN
i
In practice, children are supported to be reunified to their family and reintegrated to the community.

Social Work Force

Social Service Workforce

Add New Data Explore Data
0
Workers
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Country
0
Workers
Department of Social Welfare 2019, and Office of the Head of Local Government Service 2019.
No. of government social service workers with child protection responsibilities (per 100,000 children)
i
Total: 2890, including 255 social welfare officers (civil services) and 2635 social welfare and community development officers (local government services)
0
Workers
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Effective
A national workforce assessment and analysis carried out within the past four years
 
Yes
Social Welfare Service Workforce Capacity Assessment. Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Department of Social Welfare,UNICEF, 2020
i
A social welfare workforce capacity assessment has been conducted in 2019. Based on the assessment a five year costed capacity building plan was developed and validated in 2020.
A system of licensing/registration of social service professionals
 
Partly
DSW, 2020
i
A draft social work council bill has been drafted and will be presented to Parliament in 2021.

Key Stakeholders

Key Stakeholders

Add New Data
Country
Government
Civil Society Organisations
Effective

Other Relevant Reforms

Other Relevant Reforms

Add New Data
Effective
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Child Protection
i
Over the past decade, Ghana has ostensibly taken significant efforts to create better responses for children and families at risk – such as through the creation of a Justice for Children Policy (2015); Child and Family Welfare Policy (2015) and legislating to create measures to prevent domestic violence, female genital mutilation (FGM), human trafficking and to protect the rights of children with disabilities. Ghana has designated a special department, the Department of Children (‘DoC’) that has management responsibility for policy, coordination, monitoring and research for children’s issues within the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (‘MoGCSP’). Separately, the Department of Social Welfare is responsible for carrying out statutory functions, and protecting and promoting children’s rights. The Children’s Act 1998 (‘the Act’) was comprehensively amended in 2016 to support changes to the child protection system. In its 2015 report, the Committee on the Rights of the Child commended Ghana on the adoption of a wide variety of child related legislative measures, however voiced a concern about the evident gap between law and practice. The committee noted a lack of sufficient resources, overlapping or duplicate interventions and inadequate coordination as factors in previous poor implementation of the policies and laws This previous, ‘poor implementation’ refers to policies and legislation to improve outcomes for children. In 2007 Ghana adopted a Care Reform Initiative (‘CRI’) seeking to reform the care system and progress towards a deinstitutionalised system. The CRI sought to: prevent family separation; prioritise extended family placements; place children with a foster family when a family placement was unavailable; and to pursue adoption, preferably with a Ghanaian family as a last resort. Between 2010 and 2012 a National Plan of Action for Orphans and Vulnerable Children was adopted, building upon the CRI. The aim of this plan was to establish strategies and objectives for the prevention of family separation, the protection of children separated from their family and the development of the State’s capacity and resources in this field. Despite these efforts, in 2015 the Committee on the Rights of the Child remained concerned that: • There was an increasing number of children living outside their family environment in institutions as a result of socioeconomic pressures; • That conditions in alternative care centres were poor, and lacked proper monitoring, record keeping and licensing/registration; and • That informal kinship or other foster care solutions were under socioeconomic stress. The new legislative infrastructure and good will on behalf of the government seeks to radically change and improve responses for children deprived of their family environment. The Child and Family Welfare Policy, aims to: design programs to more effectively prevent, and protect children from, all forms of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation; ensure effective coordination of the family welfare system at all levels; empower children and families to understand situations of risk; and to promote the effective use of existing laws and policies. Comprehensive change to the Act strive to further strengthen and coordinate responses. In addition, the GOG passed the adoption and foster care regulations in 2018. Since then, the GoG and more specifically the Department of Social Welfare developed Case management SOP for children in need of care and protection, Standards for Residential Homes for Children, develop a foster care program with the training and licensing of foster parents, the placement of children in foster care, increased the inspection and monitoring of children in residential care facilities and develop DI guidelines and roadmaps for the deinstitutionalisation of children in RHC.
NO SOURCE GIVEN
Decentralisation
i
The enactment of Legislative Instrument 1961 (LI 1961) and the Local Government Act, 2003 (Act 656) marked the commencement of the functioning of the decentralized Departments at the Metropolitan, Municipal and District level as Departments of the various Assemblies. The LI 1961also transferred the staff of the decentralized Departments of the Metropolitan, Municipal and Districts from the Civil Service to the Local Government Service. This places the Local Government Service at the centre of Administrative Decentralization in the country with enormous responsibility of managing and developing the Human Resource of the Assemblies. The Department of Social Welfare and Community Development have been decentralized and are responsible to implement the policies and laws related and provide quality services to vulnerable children and families
Source: Local Government Service Ghana
Social Protection
i
The Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty Programme (LEAP) was established by the Government of Ghana in 2008 and is the flagship programme of Ghana’s National Social Protection Strategy (NSPS). The programme has four objectives: (1) reduce extreme poverty, hunger and starvation among the most severely disabled and incapacitated people; (2) stimulate access to social services (health and education in particular); (3) empower subsistence farmers and fisher folk to access opportunities likely to move them out of extreme poverty and break the intergenerational poverty cycle; and (4) positively impact on pregnant women and infants and reduce the rate of mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS among the target groups. LEAP provides bi-monthly cash transfers and health insurance to extremely poor
Source: Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection; Family for Every Child, Centre for Social Protection (CSP) at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), and Challenging Heights, 2014

Key Research Sources

Key Data Sources

Add New Data
Country

Street Children in Accra: A Survey Report

Nana Apt Van Ham; E. Q., Blavo; S. K. Opoku - Department of Sociology, University of Ghana for the Department of Social Welfare and Save the Children Fund (UK)
01 Apr 1995
Effective

Drivers of Institutionalisation

Drivers of Institutionaliziation

Add New Data
Country
Pull Factors
Effective

Displaying 1 - 10 of 179

List of Organisations

Robert D. Osei and Monica Lambon‐Quayefio - Review of Development Economics,

The Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) program is Ghana's first social protection program to provide cash and health insurance to the poor and vulnerable. This study looks beyond the direct impact of the program and examines the indirect impacts on labor transitions as well as the engagement of children and the elderly in the labor market.

Elevate Children Funders Group and Global Philanthropy Project with the research team Sentiido,

This report explores how gender-restrictive groups are using child protection rhetoric to manufacture moral panic and mobilize against human rights, and how this strengthens the illiberal politics currently undermining democracies.

Ghana Department of Social Welfare and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF),

This report, produced by the Department of Social Welfare and Ghana Statistical Service with UNICEF support, provides an overview of the main findings from a census of residential care facilities in Ghana, an enumeration of the child population in these facilities, and a survey on a representative sample of such population.

Kwabena Frimpong-Manso - Child & Youth Services ,

This study aims to explore the experiences of Ghanaian care leavers to discern the factors that promote and impede their educational attainment.

UNICEF Ghana, Social Policy Research Institute (SPRI), National Development Planning Commission (NDPC),

This briefing paper - developed by UNICEF and the Social Policy Research Institute, in collaboration with the National Development Planning Commission - built on existing microdata, analyses of children’s vulnerabilities and specific phone survey data collected between March and June 2020. The paper outlines the primary and secondary impacts of COVID-19 on children in Ghana, including the impacts on vulnerable children such as children with disabilities, street-connected children, and children in residential care.

Kwabena Frimpong-Manso - Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal,

Using a qualitative design, the author of this study interviewed 12 social workers to explore the benefits of family support services and challenges that inhibit the gains from the services.

Alhassan Abdullah, Ebenezer Cudjoe, Susan Young, Anna W.M. Choi, Lucy P. Jordan, Marcus Y.L. Chiu, Clifton R. Emery - Child: Care, Health and Development,

In line with recent policy discussions on mechanisms to regulate informal kinship care practices, this study aimed to identify how the State could be involved in improving kinship care experience for children.

Victor Cebotari and Bilisuma B. Dito - Children and Youth Services Review,

Using survey data collected in 2010 from Ghanaian school children, this study investigates variations in children’s durable goods and private utilities when parents migrate internally or internationally compared to a control group of children who live with their parents.

Gillian Mann and Emily Delap - Family for Every Child,

This paper argues that kinship care – the care of children by relatives or friends of the family – represents the greatest resource available for meeting the needs of girls and boys who are orphaned or otherwise live apart from their parents.

World Vision,

This report explores children and young people’s views and experiences related to COVID-19 and its indirect impacts. Firstly, it looks at children and young people’s perceptions of how COVID-19 has had an impact on their lives and countries.