Towards child-inclusive practices in child protection in Ghana: Perspectives from parents

Esmeranda Manful, Ebenezer Cudjoe, Alhassan Abdullah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although case meetings on reported child maltreatment in Ghana often include children, parents and social workers, in most cases the views of children are not included in the decision making process. This is largely as a result of traditional cultural expectations where the child is an obedient recipient of adult decisions. Considering that cases reported are premised within the family, the study investigated parents’ views on how children's opinions could be included in child protection decisions in Ghana. A phenomenological approach was adopted using semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis method to examine the views of 21 parents in contact with the Department of Social Welfare. The findings suggest that children's fear of being labelled as behaving culturally inappropriate and its reprisals were the main hurdles to child-inclusive practice. Also, good interviewing skills, out of office engagement, humour and one-on-one engagement emerged as strategies recommended by parents to promote child-inclusive practices. The study highlights the need for social workers to develop child-friendly communication strategies to promote children's participation in the child protection process. In addition, an inclusion of cultural practices in the curriculum of social work education and training at all levels is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105594
Number of pages7
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Volume119
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Child protection
  • Child-inclusive practice
  • Children's rights
  • Ghana
  • Parents
  • Social workers

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