ActionSA approaches SAHRC over treatment of foster children

ActionSA has lodged a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) against the Western Cape’s department of social development and department of education.

The party also complained about the department of home affairs nationally on behalf of a group of Khayelitsha foster mothers regarding claims that the parents and children were getting bad treatment from government.

ActionSA’s leader in the Western Cape Michelle Wasserman claimed that all three departments’ actions were compromising the well-being of the children and foster parents by restricting them ability to properly care for the children placed in their care.

“The Khayelitsha foster mothers say that there are a number of ways in which government departments hamstring their ability to properly care for the children placed with them,” said Wasserman.

She claimed that the departments’ financial constraints, birth certificates and challenges of registering kids in the school system were major concerns.

Wasserman alleged that the daily stipend that is supposed to be paid to foster parents is often paid late or not even being paid at all. She also complained about the backlog at Home Affairs, where she alleged that the delay of issuing of birth certificate deprive kids to be enrolled in schools.

“Social workers do not provide parents with information when a child is placed. This means that safety mothers of children who have experienced sexual violence are not able to give that child the support and understanding they need. Once the child has been placed, the social workers do not follow up and safety parents are required to chase social workers for information and assistance. The system does not offer therapeutic help or counselling to traumatised child victims of sexual and other [forms of] violence,” she said.

In the letter, which Wasserman had sent to SAHRC on Tuesday, she stated that three foster mothers have set out the problems they experience regarding the challenges they face towards upbringing of the kids.

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