Caregiver perceptions of children in their care and motivations for the care work in children's homes in Ghana: Children of God or children of white men?
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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The perceptions and motivations that workers have in their work and work environment are important determinants of the quality of work they do. For people who work in residential institutions where children who have lost the care of their parents receive care, these perceptions and motivations become a crucial part in determining the quality of services or care the children are given. This study set out to explore the perceptions and motivations of caregivers in the institutional context in Ghana. Adopting a qualitative, phenomenological approach, data were collected from 35 caregivers in two children's homes in Ghana through participant observations, focus group discussions and in-depth interviews. It emerged that caregivers perceived the children in their care first as children of God and then as children of white men and were predominantly motivated by their religious convictions to keep doing ‘the work of God’. Other motivations included personal life situations and economic aspects of the job. Implications for the workers and children in this environment are discussed.
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