News about some missing 23 kids in private children’s homes across the country is not only disgusting, it represents a picture of failing state institutions.
The state department responsible for overseeing the management of children’s homes, public or private, should be held responsible for the anomaly.
It is not for nothing that laid down procedures exist for the adoption of kids from such homes. Indeed, in Malawi a celebrity had to go through a gruelling procedure to have her application approved to enable her to adopt a kid in an orphanage.
We are hearing about underhand dealings in the adoption of children in these homes and it is hurting that so many years after independence, the overseeing of the operations of such homes appears to be in shambles.
Children who find themselves in these private homes must be given maximum care and not just left at the hand of anybody who successfully establishes an NGO to run such facilities.
When one of such private orphanages was exposed in the manner its kids were abused sexually, Ghanaians were startled. That was the end of the matter. We have heard nothing since then.
Periodic inspections appear to be non-existent as these kids are left at the mercy of sometimes wicked home mothers.
These kids did not ask to be delivered into this unkind world where unscrupulous persons do all they can to have their way, even these do not conform to laid down procedures.
We are not only dealing with the poor and appalling conditions in such facilities but now grappling with insecurity in these places.
In yesterday’s edition of this newspaper, a Class Four pupil of a school in New Bortinanor did not return home after closing – a worrying development which has definitely sent fears down the spines of many a parent who heard it.
Must kids who reside in places thought to be secured also suffer the plight of the Class Four boy? We demand that better security be ensured in such facilities, failing which those in-charge must be sanctioned and where necessary, have their authorisation to run such facilities withdrawn.
The Department of Social Welfare, whose responsibility it is to ensure that the laid down standards exist in such facilities, has failed the country in this regard. Otherwise why would it refuse to crack the whip if that would ensure that these facilities are run in consonance with the laid down procedures?
We are resisting the thought that some officials in orphanages connive with unscrupulous persons to traffic such children.
The illegal adoption of kids in this manner has never been one of our challenges in Ghana: this is becoming the order and so the authorities must wake up.
For now though, the authorities running the orphanages where these kids were adopted must account for them. We should not accept “we do not know where they are” for our queries.