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Regional News of Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Source: GNA

Department of Social Welfare changes name

The Department of Social Welfare has been renamed the ‘Department of Social Development’ following the restructuring of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.

Nana Oye Lithur, the sector Minister said, the new name was to reflect the welfare and service roles played by the Department.

Nana Oye Lithur stated this in Accra when the Ministry took its turn at the Meet the Press Series of as part of the government’s communication programme.

She said the Ministry had started a project titled, “From Street to School”, which was meant to reunite street children with their families.

“It is part of the promotion of family based care in Ghana, she said. “So far, 147 street children have been identified in the Tema Manhean area, 13 have been sent back to school but 47 have refused to go back to school.,”

She said in order to improve the services rendered at children’s homes, 106 managers of such facilities had been trained; while the Ministry had enhanced its supervisory work on residential care facilities.

Accordingly, she said the Ministry successfully prosecuted operators of an orphanage in the Eastern Region for refusing to stop operations after it had been closed down.

Nana Oye Lithur said 28 children’s homes had been closed down for not operating in accordance with the law.

The Minister said as part of the processes to restructure the adoption system in Ghana, the Ministry was in the process of establishing the Central Adoption Authority.

She explained that the Authority would be responsible for processing all inter-country adoptions, and to liaise with other Central Authorities on adoption with the processing of such children for migration.

She said the regulations for adoption and foster care were being developed and the Ministry had received approval to amend the Children’s Act.

She pointed out that all those were meant to restructure the adoption regime in the country.

Nana Oye Lithur noted that the Ministry prepared and submitted a 554 Social Security Enquiry Reports to the Family Tribunals and Juvenile Courts for the determination of adoption and custody cases.

She announced that the School of Social Work, after 70 years of its existence, was finally receiving a facelift.

Nana Oye Lithur said the Ministry had cut the sod for the construction of an 18-classroom block, administration and library blocks and an ICT centre for the School of Social Work.

She said an Institutional Authorisation Certificate from the National Accreditation Board had been acquired to facilitate the process of attaining a tertiary status.

The Minister said the upgrading and affiliation of the School of Social Work to the University of Development Studies was on-going and that a five-year Strategic Plan had been developed for the School.

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