Assessing Child Maintenance Cases in Ghana: What Do Social Workers Consider?

Ebenezer CUDJOE*, Alhassan ABDULLAH, Kwabena FRIMPONG-MANSO, Pascal AGBADI, Antoine DELIEGE

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


While one of the key responsibilities of social services in Ghana is to conduct maintenance arrangements so that the nonresident parent is committed to making financial contributions to the well-being of the child, little is known about what informs social workers’ assessments in child maintenance cases. The aim of this study was to determine what social workers consider when undertaking child maintenance assessments. A qualitative practice research study was conducted with 13 social workers and 12 parents involved in a child maintenance case with three agencies of the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development in Ghana. The study showed that corroborating the existence of nonpayment for maintenance in the family is the first step in assessing other factors, such as the parent’s income, occupational status and maintenance amount. Even after the maintenance amount was decided upon, social workers were often unable to follow-up on nonresident parents to ensure that they complied with the maintenance arrangements. Given that no assessment instrument exists in Ghana for addressing child maintenance cases, the study’s findings can provide useful information that can aid in the development of an instrument or framework to assist social workers in their assessments.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Social Service Research
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Jun 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Child maintenance
  • child maintenance assessment
  • social workers
  • nonresident parents
  • Ghana


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