The Department of Social welfare and Community Development of the Ningo-Prampram District Assembly (NiPDA) supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has organized a one-day Community Sensitization Training for Child Protection Committee members in the district to build their capacity on the Inter-Sectoral Standard Operating Procedures (ISSOP) for Child Protection and Family Welfare. The training was held on the 1st of July, 2021 at the District Assembly Hall. The Government of Ghana supported by UNICEF developed the ISSOP for Child and Family Welfare to serve as a guideline for Child Protection and Family Welfare Case Management. The ISSOP provides a harmonized framework of agreed standards, principles and procedures for all Child Protection and Family Welfare stakeholders to understand each other’s role and responsibility.
According to the District Director of Social Welfare and Community Development, Madam Augustina Nartey, UNICEF is currently supporting the department to undertake various activities in the area of Child Protection and one of them is this training as every Child Protection Institution and organization have their own Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) which are uncoordinated with respect to Child Protection Services. The ISSOP is to help the stakeholders to have a clear and common understanding of details regarding Child Protection and Family Welfare to better co-ordinate their work together, hence, the essence of the training. The training focused on the roles of key duty bearers of ISSOP and the legal framework for Child Protection in Ghana, taking into consideration the availability of Institutional arrangements. This is to equip the stakeholders with the appropriate forms, tools and guidelines to provide efficient and effective services to children in need of care and protection. The various stakeholders which include the Ghana Education Services (GES), Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU), Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Ghana Health Service (GHS), Civil Society Organizations, the Judiciary and two selected queen mothers from the two traditional areas in the district (Ningo and Prampram) were the second group to be trained as the first group of 25 participants were trained in December 2020.
The participants were taken through the Categories of Child Protection and Family Welfare cases, Case management, the Role of Case Managers with some Guiding Principles and important tips amongst other relevant information to assist them in handling cases with respect to Child Protection and a copy of the referral form of the Ghana ISSOP in Child Protection was provided for each of the participants to acquaint themselves with what it entails.
A staff of Community Development unit demonstrated the use of some tool kits provided by UNICEF to support their course in addressing the plight of children in vulnerable situations. The welfare of the child is a collective responsibility and as child abuse is relevant in all settings, the stakeholders were embolden to adopt interventions that are in the best interest of the child at any point in time. Participants were awarded certificates at the end of the training.