UNICEF, Department of Social Welfare train probation officers on updated manual

Department of Social Welfare trains Probation Officers

The Department of , in collaboration with Ghana, recently conducted a two-day workshop to train selected Probation Officers on the updated Probation Desk Manual. The training aimed to enhance the knowledge and skills of probation officers in line with best practices in probation services.

The workshop also sought to strengthen the capacity of probation officers in the use of the probation desk manual and to increase the number of trained officers at the community level, anticipating the passage of the Community Service Act 2023.

Probation services are an essential component of the criminal justice system, responsible for supervising high-risk offenders reintegrated into the community, with Social Welfare officers defending children's rights in court providing these services in Ghana.

Dr Afisah Zakaria, Chief Director of the , Children and Social Protection, commended the importance of the Probation Desk Manual as a valuable tool for professionals to carry out their duties proficiently and effectively, given its inclusion of relevant laws and policies. She urged the trained officers to share their newfound knowledge with their colleagues upon their return to the office.

Ms. Stella Mawusi Mawuto, the Volta Regional Social Welfare Director, who chaired the training workshop, encouraged the officers not to be discouraged by the challenges in their field but to utilize the available resources to achieve positive outcomes.

Ms. Hilda Mensah, a representative from UNICEF-Ghana, encouraged the probation officers to exchange experiences and expertise, emphasizing the manual's significance as a tool in their work to advocate for the rights of children and women in society.

The role of Probation Officers from the Department of Social Welfare is crucial within the criminal justice system, as they protect the rights of children and assist the police in locating the parents, guardians, and relatives of juveniles.

Approximately 70 probation officers from various regions in Ghana, along with four facilitators, participated in the training on the probation desk manual, totalling 74 participants. The regions represented included Volta, Central, Western, Greater , Ashanti, and Eastern Regions.

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