Working Better Together to support orphaned children
Today, the Minister of Social Development in the Western Cape, Albert Fritz, is commemorating World Orphan Day. World Orphan Day highlights the need for all of society to work Better Together to raise and support orphaned children.
An orphan is defined as a child under the age of 18 years whose mother, father or both biological parents have died. In 2015, there were 3.1 million orphans in South Africa. Between 2016 and 2018, 105 babies were abandoned in the Western Cape. Many children are orphaned due to HIV/AIDs and related illnesses.
For our society to work Better Together, we need to collectively offer a hand and support orphaned children where we can. One of the ways in which this can be done is by volunteering at a nearby Child and Youth Care Centre (CYCC) or even just by donating groceries. In the Western Cape there are 52 NPO run CYCCs and 7 that are Government managed. To find and support a nearby CYCC, please click here.
CYCCs provide for the care, therapeutic and developmental needs of orphaned children. Most children in its care achieve the highest outcomes relative to their ability and aptitude. There are currently 35 CYCC children attending universities. Recently, two CYCC children participated in international soccer tournaments. Another is a professional South African boxer. Currently, one child from a CYCC is in the finals of a televised singing competition.
Another way in which we can support orphaned children is through foster care and adoption. Foster care involves the temporary placement of a child into a foster home; whereas adoption ensures that a child receives a permanent home and family. Both are incredibly selfless acts, giving children the opportunity to enjoy stable and loving homes. For more information on becoming a foster parent in the WC, click here. For information on adoption, click here.
MEC Fritz said, “In the current financial year, the Department of Social Development (DSD) in the WC has allocated approximately R30 million to community-based services, allowing vulnerable children and families to access basic services and programmes. These services include Drop-In Centres, ISIBINDI and community-based programmes aimed at promoting supportive caregiving and positive child development. These programmes are rendered by NGOs and reduce children’s exposure to violence and abuse.”
MEC Fritz further added, “A child that is at serious risk, is referred to a designated child protection social worker who investigates into whether the child is in need of care and protection. The Children’s Court may place a child in foster care or in a CYCC, depending on the case. Adoption of orphaned children must be considered as a permanent alternative care arrangement.”
Under the leadership of MEC Albert Fritz, DSD in the WC will continue to work Better Together with civil society to ensure that orphaned children in the province are supported and cared for.