From walls to homes: Child care reform and deinstitutionalisation in Ghana



In 2006, the Ghanaian government, in partnership with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), began to reform the child welfare system. The main aim of this reform was to provide a sustainable and culturally appropriate system of care for children without parental care by shifting from an institutional-based model to a family and community-based one. Drawing on existing peer-reviewed and grey literature, this article provides an overview of the major components of the reform, including reintegration with the extended family, foster care and adoption. In addition, the article discusses the prospects and challenges involved in achieving the reform's intended component.

Key Practitioner Message: ● Use community development techniques to raise the resources needed to provide family support services for vulnerable families;Social work practitioners partner with non-governmental organisations to train community members as para-social workers;Social workers, especially in developing countries, understand the challenges they face when embarking on deinstitutionalisation.