Minister Fernandez welcomes Launch of National Child Protection Week
The Western Cape Minister for Social Development, Sharna Fernandez, welcomes the official launch of the National Child Protection Week, which takes place from Sunday, 30 May to 6 June 2021.
“As we commemorate Child Protection Week, we must reflect on the toll Covid-19 has taken on the physical, emotional, developmental, spiritual and mental wellbeing of our children.
Many of their lives have been upended. For the most at-risk and vulnerable, it may have meant being cut off from support systems and being trapped inside homes, with their abusers,” said Minister Fernandez.
“Whilst we have less contact with each other due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are duty-bound as a whole of society, to remain vigilant, take the signs of abuse seriously, and report all pleas for help by vulnerable children immediately.
I would like to remind the public that the Department’s child protection services are available,” added Minister Fernandez.
These services include:
• A range of programmes and services for children showing signs of risky behaviour, which include safety and risk assessment services; therapeutic and psychosocial services; temporary safe care programmes; adolescent development programmes; programmes for children with behavioural, psychological and emotional challenges; transitional care and support programmes for children about to exit alternative care; and programmes for children living on the streets.
• Statutory services including foster care programmes and adoption programmes.
• Programmes aimed at reunifying children, who have been placed in alternative care, with their families or communities of origin.
The provincial Department of Social Development (DSD) is grateful to all of our Non-Profit Organisation (NPOs), child protection workers (CPWs) and other key partners in the child protection sector, who continue to help us in our fight to create a safer province for our children. These partners include; other spheres of government, civil society, business and labour, disaster management services, universities, the diplomatic corps, families (not least our own), the police and criminal justice system.
“We need to have a whole of society approach to strengthen our nation’s efforts against child abuse. Together, we must speak up for, and protect our children,” concluded Minister Fernandez.
The fight against child abuse requires the help and support of everyone in the province. If you suspect a child is being abused, neglected or exposed to violence, we urge you to report it to the following channels:
- Calling the Western Cape Department of Social Development toll free: 0800 220 250
- Calling the SAPs crime stop hotline: 10111
- Calling Childline: 0861 322 322; or
- Calling Child Welfare SA: 0861 424 453
For more information about our other services, please refer to the Western Cape Department’s website on the link below:
Joshua Covenant Chigome
Spokesperson for the Minister of Social Development, Minister Sharna Fernandez
Tel: 021 483 9217
Cell: 083 661 4949