Researching the Linkages Between Social Protection and Children’s Care in Ghana: LEAP and its effects on child well-being, care, and family cohesion

Despite most national governments ratifying the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the following Guidelines on Alternative Care for Children, evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) suggests that the rights to adequate care are being violated in the case of many children. Country estimates of the percentage of children who are living without their parents range between 12-34% depending on the country, and the numbers of children outside of parental care are growing. Whilst many such children are well cared for by grandparents and other relatives, the effects of the loss of parental care on children can be devastating, particularly if children live outside of families or with more distant relatives.

The need for research and more robust evidence regarding linkages between social protection and child protection outcomes is increasingly recognised. The body of evidence on the impact of social protection on objective and measurable outcomes for children – such as nutrition, health and education – is rapidly expanding, and largely points towards positive effects. At the same time, little is known about the effect of programmes on outcomes that are less observable and generally not included in programmes’ theories of change. Following these considerations, this research is guided by three research questions.

- What are the linkages between social protection and the quality of children’s care?

- What is the link between social protection and the loss of parental care?

- What is the link between social protection and decisions between care options (e.g. between residential care, foster care, kinship care etc.)?

To learn more about co-authoring organisation Challenging Heights, press here.

Published 2017-12-12

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