When Parents Fail: Addressing Delinquent Child Maintenance Through Informal Resources

Esmeranda Manful, Alhassan Abdullah, Ebenezer Cudjoe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The success rate using formal mechanisms by Ghanaian social workers to ensure the best outcomes for the child when there is default in child maintenance payments is low; hence the need to explore other strategies. The objective of this research was to explore informal support resources that could be helpful to families involved with social services on delinquent child maintenance (DCM). Guided by a practice research approach, in-depth interviews were conducted with 17 parents involved with a regional-level social service organization in Ghana. Their narratives were analyzed thematically using the NVivo software. Findings revealed that DCM is a problem for both sexes. Parents reported information, financial, and material support from relatives and neighbors to be relevant resources in addressing the problem. The study’s findings suggest the need for social workers to focus on informal support when addressing DCM and emphasize parental roles as situation-based not gender-based.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-284
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Early online date23 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • child neglect
  • delinquent child maintenance
  • family support services
  • informal support


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