Examining Welfare Provision for Children in an Old Relic: Focusing on Those Left Behind in Residential Care Homes in Ghana

Esmeranda Manful, Olivia Umoh, Alhassan Abdullah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The United Nations Guideline for the Alternative Care for Children is a framework intended to ensure global de-institutionalization and reintegration of children in care institutions. Despite Ghana’s commitments towards de-institutionalization of vulnerable children in need of care, for some children residential care still remains the only formal alternative option. Therefore, this study sought to examine the welfare of children who are still in residential care homes in Ghana. Using the phenomenological approach, triangulated data was collected through in-depth interviews with 79 participants including children, caregivers and management staff of six residential care homes in Ghana. Data from the interviews were thematically analyzed with the assistance of NVivo 11 software. The study revealed frontline staff limitation of addressing emotional needs of children and the managements’ fund-raising shortcomings to address logistical challenges. However, children in residential care homes had their basic provisions including; food, shelter and educational needs met. It is suggested that Ghana’s child welfare policies should be amended to include compulsory targeted training models to orient caregivers on secure attachment styles and the need to establish short-term bond with children in care. Further studies could examine Ghana’s cultural practices on attachment building and bonding among surrogate parents and how it can be adapted in formal childcare practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)825-836
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Social Service Research
Issue number6
Early online date1 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Caregivers
  • child welfare
  • children
  • Ghana
  • residential care homes


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