Sunyani Ministry of Social Welfare City Director Belinda Osei Mensah announced that the directorate is seeing an increasing number of child custody cases.
According to her, the department recorded 34 child custody cases in 2020, 30 of which were successfully processed while three were withdrawn but one remained pending.
For the first quarter of 2021, Madam Osei Mensah said 19 custody cases were brought before the department, while 12 cases were recorded from April to June that same year 2021.
“Most encouragingly, about 99% of all custody cases reported here have been resolved amicably, but a handful of them have either been referred to juvenile court or withdrawn by the parties involved,” she added.
Madam Osei Mensah, calling the rising trend unhappy, pointed out that child custody interferes with the proper upbringing and development of children.
Divorce and single parents are the top causes of custody, according to Sunyani Municipal Director of the Department of Social Welfare.
“My advice to couples is to strive to resolve their differences amicably to avoid broken marriages, which in most cases result in child custody,” she added.
Madam Osei Mensah said that all forms of child neglect were due to the rise in child neglect due to the rise in teenage pregnancies.
She encouraged the adolescents who cannot control their sexual desires to avoid unprotected sex in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies that could potentially lead to child custody or any form of neglect.
“I ask the young girls to beware of men who pretend to shower them with gifts of various kinds and induce premarital sex and promiscuous lifestyles that could ruin their future,” she said.