World Foster Day: WC DSD appeals to public to become a Foster Parent | Western Cape Government


World Foster Day: WC DSD appeals to public to become a Foster Parent

31 May 2022

In commemoration of World Foster Day which is recognised annually on 31 May, the Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) is appealing to residents who meet the criteria to consider becoming a Foster Parent.

As part of World Foster Day, we are aiming to create awareness for the  thousands of orphans in the Western Cape in need of a loving and caring household. Whilst there are many children who may never get the chance to be adopted, they can still be fostered by loving families.

“The Foster Care System is hugely beneficial for society. It provides vital care to children and young individuals in all our communities who are in need of protection.  We wish to alert the public that there is still a great need for Foster Parents in the province.

We further wish to remind people that there are older children who are vulnerable and in need of care and protection. Many older children have had traumatic experiences, or been exposed to trauma for several years and have not had the benefit of a loving home environment. In these cases, social workers are there to assist foster parents with specialised support and counselling where needed.

As a Foster Parent, you can offer these children the opportunity to reach their full potential. In this regard, I am appealing to potential Foster Parents to make contact with the Department to register,” said the Western Cape Minister for Social Development, Sharna Fernandez.

“To those residents who have heeded the call to become a Foster Parent, I wish to thank you for your  invaluable role in guiding, influencing and shaping our children with a foundation built on the secure sense of belonging which they selflessly provide,” added Minister Fernandez.

The DSD continues to make steady progress in addressing the backlog in foster care order extensions.

Presently, a total of 36 480 children are in foster care in the Western Cape.  

The Foster Care Backlog as at the of April is 2947. The number only refers to the number of foster care orders that required extension, as per court order.

The North Gauteng High Court (NGHC) issued an Order on 28 November 2017, which was further extended in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

The extended court order provides an additional 24 months for the key provisions contained in the 2017 Order. The key provisions highlighted in the court order include the following:

  • The suspension of two declarations regarding the provision for a comprehensive legal solution and putting in place the mechanisms, resources and structures for a sustainable and efficient foster care system;
  • Requiring the National Minister of Social Development to request Parliament to expedite the process for consideration and tabling of amendments to the Children’s Act;
  • Interim regime for management of the affected foster care orders;
  • Reporting parameters changing from six monthly to three monthly intervals for reporting to the High Court and Centre for Child Law

The Provincial Foster Care Management Plan is in full effect and we are on track to clear the foster care backlog before 12 November 2022 deadline.

How to become a foster parent:

Make contact with the nearest office of the DSD or a designated child protection organisation. A social worker will firstly arrange for you to be screened. The screening involves an interview and a visit to your home.

Factors that will be considered in the screening process include the health of the foster parent, family composition, the suitability of accommodation, the general environment and accessibility of schools and public transport. Other aspects considered are the prospective foster parents’ views on child-rearing and education, their ability to accept responsibility, their attitude towards the birth parents and the motivation to foster.

The foster parent, and all adults on the premises, will go through a process of vetting and selection, where after compulsory training will be undertaken.

For more information contact:

Any persons interested in finding out more information about how to sign up to be a foster or safety parent, individuals can make contact with our department by calling, 0800 220 250, to be directed to your nearest local DSD office.

For more information about our other services, please refer to the Western Cape Department’s Website below:

Media Enquiries: 

Joshua Covenant Chigome

Spokesperson for the Minister of Social Development, Minister Sharna Fernandez

Tel: 021 483 9217

Cell: 083 661 4949