The WC Department of Social Development on track to address Foster Care backlog | Western Cape Government

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The WC Department of Social Development on track to address Foster Care backlog

6 April 2022

The Western Cape Department of Social Development (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 end of March 2022 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.

We have 490 unprocessed extensions for February 2022 to March 2022, of which 230 are unabridged birth certificates that we have still not yet received from the National Department of Home Affairs, and a further 166 are awaiting court dates. It is important to note that the current number of unprocessed extensions are not new placements,” said the Western Cape Minister for Social Development, Sharna Fernandez.

“The challenges presented by the National Disaster Management Act during the COVID-19 pandemic period has had a restrictive effect on overall operations in the public and private sector.  Although the Courts could still be accessed for urgent matters pertaining to children and specifically foster care matters, there were operational restrictions caused by limited access to courts and other lockdown restrictions,” added Minister Fernandez. 

“I would like to appeal to the public to sign up as a safety parent or foster parent. This is a great way for community members to partner with us and be part of protecting our children,” concluded Minister Fernandez.

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