American International Journal of Social Science

ISSN 2325-4149(Print), ISSN 2325-4165(Online) DIO: 10.30845/aijss

Exploring the Usefulness of Social Capital Concept for Improving Services for Vulnerable Children and Orphans in a Public Residential Care Institution in Ghana
Ebenezer Saka Manful, Samuel Kofi Badu-Nyarko

There has been an increased global debate about the use and effectiveness of institutional care arrangement for providing enough services for vulnerable children in need of care. As a result of this debate scholars are exploring new ways and/or engaging new concepts or theoretical frameworks for understanding the socio - economic status and lived experiences of vulnerable children in institutional care or residential child care homes. Of particular focus of understanding are social networks, socialization, educational attainment and health status of vulnerable children in institutional care arrangements. It is worth noting that while almost all of these exploration and engagements are in countries of the rich developed world, very little work has been done in poor countries of the developing world. Nonetheless, in many of these latter countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, childcare is undergoing reforms under 'Care Reform Policy Initiatives' (CRI) which is being sponsored by UNICEF. However, the main focus of the care reform initiative in Ghana is institutional child care. This study sought to explore the usefulness of social capital in improving the conditions of vulnerable children in residential care institution in Ghana. The study found out that the care givers work under very harsh economic conditions thus making it difficult to provide the needed care for the children. The subvention from the government is not enough to prove the basic needs. It was therefore essential that such vulnerable children are catered for from all sectors of the society.

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