Journal of Undergraduate Research


institutional care, Ghana, attachment theories, family reunification


Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Social Work


Both attachment theories and current research suggest that institutional care (more popularly thought of as orphanages) does not meet the attachment needs of children, which has strong negative consequences over the life-course. While preventing a child’s separation from a parent or parents is ideal, reunification may be the next best option when separation occurs. However, to date, no study has examined the well-being of children reunified with their families from residential care centers. Current policy in Ghana provided a prime opportunity to study this issue, since the government has recently instituted a policy facilitating the reunification of children. Currently, many Ghanaian children are in the process of returning while others remain in institutions, making it a unique time to collect empirical data on this question.

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