Child Wellbeing, deinstitutionalization, reunification and reintegration, hope, child status index, Ghana


The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) stipulates children are entitled to “a family environment…of happiness, love and understanding”. Recent work on deinstitutionalization of children from residential care has found important child wellbeing differences, particularly around hope. Using data from Ghana—a country that has initiated reintegration of children from residential care facilities, therefore providing a natural opportunity for comparative research—we used hope, whether the child has been reunified with family/caregivers or remained in the care facility, and a statistical interaction of the two, along with controls, to predict the Child Status Index, an internationally-established measure of child wellbeing. We found hope was associated with greater wellbeing for both groups; the influence of hope, however, was stronger among reunified children. We briefly articulate mechanisms explaining why this may be and suggest that psychological wellbeing, particularly hope, may function as a moderator to help provide children with an important means of negotiating their environments.

Original Publication Citation

Spencer L. James and Jini L. Roby. 2019. “Comparing Reunified and Residential Care Facility Children’s Wellbeing in Ghana: The Role of Hope.” Children and Youth Services Review 96:316-325.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Children and Youth Services Review




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor