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THE CARE REFORM INITIATIVE (CRI)

TOWARDS INTEGRATED CARE SERVICES FOR VULNERABLE CHILDREN AND FAMILIES IN GHANA.

DEFINITION
The CRI seeks to de-emphasize over reliance on care systems for vulnerable children based on institutions and move towards a range of integrated family and community based care services for those children without appropriate parental care.

BROAD GOAL
The goal of the CARE REFORM INITIATIVE is the establishment of a more consistent and stable approach to caring for vulnerable children in Ghana so that each child will be assured of a permanent home in a supportive and loving family.

MAIN COMPONENTS
This approach will be based on four main components :

  • Prevention: To prevent the disintegration of families through linkages with strategies that strengthen families such as the social grant programme (LEAP), scholarships, food packages, access to National Health Insurance and other support programmes.
  • Reintegration with the extended family (Kinship Care): In cases where children are separated from their parents, to find loving relatives who are able to create a caring and stable environment for the child.
  • Fostering: When kinship care cannot be provided, temporary or permanent care with foster families can still provide a good home for children.
  • Adoption: When the possibility of a family reunion is exhausted, to find the child a loving adoptive home, preferably with a Ghanaian family.
  • EXPTECTED RESULTS FOR CHILDREN
    1. Institutionalization as a last resort for OVC, and not for more than three consecutive months, and social support systems such as cash transfers used to promote in-family care.
    2. 3,800 children in institutions identified and a database to track their cases created.
    3. The care system that relies on orphanages transformed into one based on kinship and short and long term fostering.
    4. 3,800 children in orphanages resettled in a family care context, or transitioned into independent living.
    5. Fostering and adoption rates increased by at least 50%.
    6. The general public in all districts sensitized on the benefits of family care and the risks associated with institutionalized care.
    7. State employed social workers adequately paid and motivated to sustain the management of the OVC database, individual care plans and monitoring systems.
    8. The three government-operated, and seven approved private residential Children’s Homes transformed into model child care institutions.*
    9. A shelter, a Home for children with special needs and a mother and baby home for transitional care available in each region.*
    10. Regulatory standards for Fostering and Kinship Care, Residential Care and Adoption produced.
    11. Fund for care and support packages that enable children to remain with their families established
    12. Members of the Judiciary, Child Panel members, law enforcement agents, traditional and political leaders at a district and community level, and other stakeholders sensitized in 170 districts.
  • * Not more than 25 children


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