Switalskis specialist travels to Ghana to advise on childcare system

The Ghanaian government has enlisted the support of Yorkshire childcare law specialist Ranjit Uppal of Switalskis Solicitors to provide advice on developing the country’s childcare system.

Uppal, director and solicitor advocate at Switalskis, visited Ghana last week as part of a delegation to provide training for high court judges and share UK best practice with members of the judiciary, police force, government ministers and officials that will help develop the Ghanaian childcare and legal systems.

The visit was facilitated by UK-based group Strengthening Families for Abandoned Children (SFAC) in conjunction with Ghana Without Orphans and supported by the Judicial Training Institute in Ghana. It was sponsored by global charity Advocates for International Development (A4ID) and its Rule of Law Expertise (ROLE) UK programme.

Uppal spoke alongside SFAC director Dan Hope and non-practicing solicitor Ruth Sharon on topics including the role of the court in child protection and the care of children, determining cases, the child’s voice in court hearings, the role of a legal care plan, and determining care options.

Over the course of the four-day visit, the team ran training for 15 high court judges and 70 circuit judges, judges, magistrates, social workers and the head of the national adoption unit.

Uppal said: “The aim of the training was to help develop the judicial system for the protection of children and young people in Ghana by sharing our knowledge and experience of the English childcare and family law systems.”

Uppal has worked closely with SFAC for several years, supporting the group’s ambition to ensure that everyone providing care for vulnerable children, wherever they are in the world, can access training and professional support that is adaptable and applicable to their own culture and context.

To date, he has helped host visits to the UK and has travelled to Paraguay, Brazil and Africa to run training for the government officials and members of the judiciary.

Switalskis, meanwhile, recently appointed four new associates.

Carole Spencer and Sally Smith, who work within the child abuse team, Sarah Kent from the conveyancing team and Lucy Wells, who works in the clinical negligence department, have all gained associate status following the successful completion of the Switalskis associate development programme.