‘Bring up children in secured family environment’

Bethany Christian Services (BCS) Ghana, a non-governmental organisation (NG0), seeking family and child welfare, has said that there was the need to bring up children in secured family environment, to protect them both emotionally and psychologically.

According to Country Director of BCS, Mrs Bridget Owusu Mahoney, such move could help improve wellbeing of children and reduce crime among minors and young adults.

The advice comes in the wake of reports of two teenagers allegedly killing a 10-year-old boy for ‘money rituals’, in Kasoa, recently, which ended in their arrest and prosecution.

In an interview with the Ghanaian Times in Accra on Friday, Mrs Mahoney stated that it was high time all children living in unsafe environment were rescued and handed over to the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) for the needed steps to be taken.

She said BCS, Ghana, under its Family Preservation and Empowerment (FPE) initiative, annually supports at least 100 families to protect the interest of the children.

“Under this initiative, we give one of the parents or guardians of a child in the family identified, monthly stipends of not less than GHc520 a month, depending on the size of the family, over a certain period. We also provide capital or refrigerators or life skills training, as a source of income,” she said.

Mrs Mahoney said the NGO in collaboration with DSW gave children whose safety was threatened by their families, to foster parents, until their families could be trusted to fend for the children.

These beneficiary families, she said were also given medical care and training on how to save money, and children with special needs were also supported under the FPE.

She explained that her outfit ensured medical screening and criminal checks on foster parents to ensure that childrenwere given to the right family.

Mrs Mahoney said such children were also orientated, adding that the geographical areas of where certain foster parents lived were also considered before children were given to them.

“We consider a lot of things before we hand children over to families for fostering. We train these foster parents and give them licence. All these are done closely with the DSW to compliment what they do,” she said.

Mrs Mahoney lamented that there were many government policies aimed at protecting children, yet implementation of such policies was a challenge.

She called on individuals and corporate organisations to support the NGO as funding had become a problem, especially due to the negative impact of COVID-19.

Mrs Mahoney, however, asked the NGO would continue to protect and support vulnerable children.

She also appealed to religious organisations to support orphans, saying “all should not end after the funeral.”

BY RAISSA SAMBOU

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