Hohoe, May 5, GNA - A total of 571 child rights related issues on protection, promotion and reconciliation were received by the Department of Social Welfare in the Volta Region in 2004.
The breakdown is as follows; child maintenance, 178 cases, paternity 74 cases, child custody cases 56, family reconciliation 112, counselling 141, child abandonment seven and child trafficking, three cases.
Mr. Larry Bissaba, Volta Regional Director of the Department of Social Welfare who disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on Wednesday said the 571 figure outstrips the statistics of 2003 by over 150 cases due to rising awareness creation programme embarked upon by the Department to sensitise the populace about their rights and responsibilities.
He said under its justice and juvenile administration, a total of 72 cases out of 91 cases received in the region within the period were dealt with, with the remaining 19 cases receiving urgent attention. Mr. Bissaba said 11 cases of social enquiry report and diagnosis on convicts were undertaken with 28 probation cases, where the conduct of convicts were monitored.
He said 12 were committed to industrial homes and borstal institutes with four undergoing communal supervision.
Mr. Bissaba said the Department had also undertaken after-care services of convicts in the Ho, Kpando and Kete-Krachi Prisons and was able to integrate 89 ex-convicts with their relatives, 26 linked up with employers, 15 assisted to contact the Police and 12 assisted to seek legal aid.
He mentioned that under its hospital welfare programme, 722 cases were recorded in all health institutions, where the Department had offices, including the Ho District and Volta Regional Hospital. The Director said within the period 284 disabled persons were registered among which were 74 visually impaired and 32 epileptics. Mr. Bissaba said there were three recognised orphanages in the region --, "Dr. Asase Memorial Orphanage" in Ho, "Friends Home" at Klikor and "In My Father's House" at Denu.
On activities of non-governmental organisations, Mr. Bissaba said, 115 organisations were legally registered to operate in the region. He said a means of transport and logistic constraints were affecting the operations of the Department and appealed to both governmental and non-governmental organisations to come to its aid.