24-02-2021 | Original Paper
Parents’ Perceptions on the Outcomes of Children’s Participation in Child Protection Meetings in Ghana
Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Child and Family Studies | Uitgave 4/2021Log in om toegang te krijgen
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child stipulates the need for children and young people to have a say in matters that affect them. Despite being a signatory to this international legislation, Ghanaian children’s input in child protection decisions are rarely considered. As a measure to improve child participation in decision making, the possible outcomes for involving children in child protection meetings were explored. Twenty-five parents who have been in contact with a Department of Social Welfare in Ghana took part in the study. This study adapted elements of the constructivist grounded theory approach using an in-depth interview method. The interviews were audio recorded, analysed thematically and managed with NVivo software. Analysis of the interview data revealed positive outcomes of cultural integration and alteration, and children becoming responsible parents in the future. On the other hand, the study revealed escalating maltreatment and obstructing children’s education as possible negative outcomes for children when involved in child protection meetings. The findings suggest that child participation in case meetings can present an opportunity to break the cultural barriers of silencing children in decision making. Also, to further protect the child, after-case follow-ups and community sensitisation programmes have to be undertaken by practitioners to mitigate the possibilities of maltreatment from parents following children’s involvement in the child protection process.