Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, Chairman of the National Peace Council, and immediate past Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church, has expressed concern about the proliferation of orphanages.
He said if not checked, it could leave disturbing consequences for Ghana in the future .
He, therefore, urged stakeholders to put all hands on deck, to mitigate the menace since mostly private owned orphanages took advantage of inmates to solicit support both locally and internationally, but did not utilize the resources to improve conditions of the orphans.
He was speaking at the 2015 International Social Work Education Conference which was pioneered and hosted by the Mouncrest University College at Mampong Akuapem, and participated by academics, researchers and human services professionals.
The Conference brought together scholars and human services professional from various countries, to exchange ideas on ways to contribute to the promotion of human rights and social development.
“It is disturbing to see inmates of orphanages, most of whom are minors, being compelled to work as truck pushers, street hawkers, while others are reduced to sex objects,” he expressed.
According to him, the possible cause of the proliferation of the orphanages was poverty and that its solution lied in addressing the basic issues that created it.
Most Rev. Prof. Asante urged the government and its major stakeholders, particularly the faith-based organisations (FBOs), to collaborate in offering the solution.
Most Rev. Prof. Asante maintained that since over 90 per cent of Ghanaians were members of various religious groups, which were already involved in promoting social welfare, the state should engage the FBOs in social services policy formulation and implementation, since in the end, the nation stood to gain .
Dr Michael Baffoe, the Dean of the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba, Canada, also underscored the need for Ghana to continuously develop models and strategies for using social work education as a vehicle for fostering social development and social inclusion.
The Rector of Mountcrest University College,
Mr Kwaku Ansa Asare, reminded policy makers that they had the responsibility to design and enact policies that took the interest of the weak and vulnerable in society into account.
“We all recognize the weak and the marginalized in the society need help, children in our school system need help, sick persons in our health facilities and their families and loved ones need emotional support and guidance, victims of disasters need our interventions. All these are in the realm of social work,” he said.
Osabarima Asiedu Okoo Ababio the third, Chief of Larteh and Benkumhene of the Akuapem Traditional Area, observed that since the world had become a global village, departmentalizing policy solutions would defeat development.
He, therefore, urged policy framers to draw expertise from all corners to enhance social work education to promote social change, problem solving in human relationships to make life better for the citizenry. GNA