Minister Fernandez calls on society to help in the fight against child abuse
Minister Fernandez calls on society to help us in our fight against child abuse and neglect by reporting organisations who compromise or exploit vulnerable children in our Province.
If a child is found to be in need of care and protection in terms of the Children’s Act, a Child and Youth Care Centre (CYCC) is one of the care options for placement. In our province, we have 54 registered CYCCs run by Non Profit Organisations (NPOs), of which the Department partially funds 53, in order to facilitate the provision of a continuum of services that promote the well-being of children, and build the resilience of families and communities to care for and protect their children.
Furthermore, there are currently 2892 children in the Province in the care of NPO CYCCs. A CYCC is pivotal, as it provides holistic alternative care to children in need of care and protection, from birth to adulthood. Since there are children for whom foster care cannot be found, or is not suitable due to their special care needs, these children need to be cared for in these NPO CYCCs.
“Since the Department cannot be at each and every centre on a daily basis and although certain monitoring tools are in place, there are still cases, albeit not many, where staff within a CYCC or the management of a CYCC are found to be guilty of ill-treatment, abuse or exploitation of the vulnerable children in their care. Moreover, these children are later integrated into community schools, churches or volunteer programmes where community-based agencies and individuals may become aware of these acts against children. In such instances, it is of paramount importance that this should be reported to the Department, in order to protect the children who are at tremendous risk. In terms of the Children’s Act it is also compulsory to report any of these acts against the children,” says Fernandez
Below are tips for the public and donors who provide support to Child and Youth Care Centres
Verify whether the CYCC you would like to make a donation to, is registered by the Department of Social Development in the Western Cape. All registered CYCCs are listed on the Department’s website.
The Department’s Directorate Facility Management can also be contacted in order to verify if it is a reputable organisation.
Do not accept endorsement letters from the Department via the CYCC, but rather request the information directly from the Department.
The programmes that a Centre is registered for, as well as the age groups, are indicated on the registration certificate of the Centre.
DSD does not audit donor funding, so it is important that financial donors implement monitoring processes.
An official outcomes-based agreement with the Centre in terms of the use of donor funding is also advised.
Since the Department only partially funds our NPO CYCCs, they are dependent on various sources of donor funding. Donors are encouraged to, after thorough checks, support or partner with NPO CYCCs.
The protection of children requires a whole of society approach as child protection is everyone’s responsibility. If we are to end violence and abuse against children in our society, we must continue to work in partnership. The public can access any of our services by approaching any of our local offices, or by contacting the DSD hotline on 0800 220 250.