There is an urgent need to train more foster parents to attend to children in need of care and protection in the Volta Region, the Department of Social Welfare in the region has indicated.
The department said the foster parents were needed because it was gradually reunifying some children in care institutions with their biological families or providing others with foster families.
There are six care institutions in the region with a total of 123 children, in addition to 30 children already in foster care.
The Regional Director of Social Welfare, Stella Mawusi Agbezuhlor Mawutor, said in an interview in Ho last Friday that many of the children in care homes included victims of various forms of abuse, abandoned children, trafficked and missing children with ages ranging from less than one year to 17.
“It is proper for them to grow in family units to have a sense of belongingness and human emotional attachment to the family,” Mrs Mawutor said.
She said sending a child to a care institution should be a last resort, and the child in need of care must not remain in a care home for more than three years.
According to her, some parents sent their children to care homes as a result of poverty, but that was not in the best interest of the child and must not be encouraged.
She said the department last year arranged for more than 60 children in care homes in the region to reunite with their biological parents.
Mrs Mawutor said about 200 foster parents were now required to cater for children in need of care and protection in the region.
She said volunteer foster parents would be assessed and trained in various aspects of child care within days before they were assigned that role.
The areas of training, Mrs Mawutor said, included key phrases and creating circles for support for foster care, handling of trauma, positive parenting, and types of attachment and their effects on children.
“We expect foster parents to be working and at least 21 years older than the child in their care,” she added.
She pointed out that every child needed love and support from the society to grow into a responsible adult.
Mrs Mawutor, therefore, appealed to churches, corporate bodies, public-spirited individuals and organisations to support foster parents with food items, toiletries and other basic items for children in their care, since foster parents were not paid any wages.
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