Premier Launches Child Protection Week with Door-To-Door in Mitchells Plain
Today Premier Helen Zille and Minister Albert Fritz launched the 2017 Child Protection Commemoration Week during a door-to-door visit in Mitchells Plain.
This year, Child Protection Week is being commemorated under the theme: “Child Protection is Everyone’s Business”.
During her visit Premier Zille said: “This week is particularly important in the wake of the recent tragedies we have seen in the province. It is incumbent on us as parents, teachers, guardians and communities to create a safe environment for our children. We will not succeed without strong families – they have a central role in achieving a nourishing environment for future generations.”
In response to recent cases of violence against children, Premier Zille said: “We are deeply concerned about the recent incidents. Many of these cases involved perpetrators who were known to the victims and their families. It is shocking and tragic. Our Department of Community Safety was integrally involved in the searches that led to identification of the perpetrator in the Courtney Pieters case, and our Social Development Department continues to assist grieving families in matters such as this. Perpetrators must face the full might of the law.”
“A holistic approach is required in dealing with this scourge. Families, government, civil society SAPS and other bodies all have a role to play in the fight.”
The Western Cape Government’s support to children and families is the largest single item in the Social Development Department’s annual budget, and this year programmes for children and families received R651.5 million.
This figure encompasses funding and support to just under 420 NGOs working in the ECD, Child & Youth Care Centres, drop-in centres that render critical child protection services, and a range of therapeutic services rendered by social workers.
The net cast by these services is wide, both from the perspective of our own services rendered through six regional offices and 40 local offices across the province, and through:
- 1100 ECD organisations,
- 190 Child Protection organisations,
- 64 specialist family organisations, and
- 53 Child and Youth Care Centres.
Minister Fritz and DSD officials have a full programme this week, which includes a Child Protection Week Dialogue, a Community Church Service and a Social Indaba in Riversdale on Friday.
“Our department has a zero-tolerance approach to any form of harm and abuse of children, and the Children’s Act of 2005 enjoins us all to place the best interests of children first,” said Minister Fritz.