FOSTER CARE

 
 

AWARENESS CAMPAIGN ON NATIONAL FOSTER CARE PROGRAMME

 

Our Constitution states that every child has a right to a family or appropriate alternative care.  Children who are not in proper alternative care are at risk of being exploited, living in the streets or trafficked.  The HIV/Aids pandemic continues to undermine progress that has been made in the country to care and protect children and their families.  For Government to be in a position to provide for the rights of orphans and vulnerable children, society needs to be mobilized so that individuals and families who are willing to foster children are given the opportunity to do so.

 

WHAT IS FOSTER CARE ?

 

Foster care is an essential family and child welfare service for children and their families who have to live apart for a temporary or long-term period of time.  It is a service for children who are unable to remain with their families because of abuse, neglect, death of parents and temporary inability of the family to take care of the children.  The child is then placed in the care of a suitable person who is not a parent or guardian of the child.

 

 

CHILDREN WHO CAN BE PLACED IN FOSTER CARE

 

Children are found to be in need of care by a Children’s Court in terms of the Child Care Act 74 of 1983, as amended.  This could include :

 

  • A child who has been abandoned or neglected;

  • A child who has been physically, sexually or emotionally abused or ill-treated by his or her parents or guardian or the person in whose custody he or she is;

  • A child who is an orphan and has not parent or guardian and he or she might be left in the care of grandparents or other relatives;

  • A child who has a parent or guardian who cannot be traced;

  • A child who displays behaviour that cannot be controlled by his or her parents or guardian;

  • A child who lives in the streets.

 

 

WHO CAN BECOME A FOSTER PARENT ?

 

Anyone who is not a parent or legal guardian of the child can become a foster parent.  The foster parent is someone who is :

 

  • A fit and proper person to be entrusted with the foster care of the child;

  • Able to provide for the safety and well-being of the child;

  • Willing to undertake, exercise and maintain the responsibilities of such care;

  • Properly assessed by a designated social worker to determine his or her suitability;

  • Over the age of 18 years.

 

 

FINANCIAL SUPPORT BY THE STATE

 

Foster parents can apply for the foster child grant paid by the State under the Social Assistance Act 59 of 1992 to maintain the child.  The biological parents have a duty to contribute towards the child’s maintenance in the form of a contribution order as determined by the Children’s Court.

 

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