Child Protection Month: Giving vulnerable children a safe home
“If you have the means to give a vulnerable child love, care, and stability – please do not hesitate to do so. Sometimes we envision the mountain to be so much bigger than it truly is.” – Moeshfieka Botha.
Cape Town resident, Moeshfieka Botha, recently shared her journey of becoming the foster parent of a beautiful baby girl, Lily*, with Western Cape Minister of Social Development Sharna Fernandez.
Botha says she and her family received excellent service from social workers at the Western Cape Department of Social Development’s (WCDSD) Athlone office, who took them through the statutory process in accordance with the Children’s Act 38 of 2005.
“They spent hours at our home, checked out every space and spoke to each one of us. The social worker, Mary*, wasn’t just extremely thorough – you could see she really cared about the welfare of Lily. We went to court on 21 December and were granted emergency care of Lily. On 16 March we were granted foster care for two years. Throughout our interaction with Mary during the various stages of this process – she has maintained the highest level of professionalism,” says Botha.
Botha says by sharing her journey with her friends and family, she has received many enquiries about how the foster process works.
During May, Child Protection Month, the WCDSD raises awareness about child abuse and the preventive measures we offer as the Department.
Foster care is one alternative to ensuring the safety of a vulnerable child. The total number of foster children and young persons in alternative care in the province, as of the end of April 2023, is 39 363.
“In this province, social workers monitor all foster cases through the innovative Foster Care Web-based Monitoring Tool. This tool reminds social workers of court orders that are due to lapse or expire. It enables them to keep track of children in the system. For those considering becoming a foster parent, you will not go through this journey alone, a social worker will be there to assist you,” says Minister Fernandez.
Minister Fernandez adds: “I encourage individuals who have the resources and the right temperament to consider becoming a foster parent, or a safety parent. There are so many children in need of a safe and loving home.”
If you would like information on becoming a foster or safety parent, please call our toll-free number 0800 220 250 or visit your nearest Department of Social Development local office. You can also visit https://www.westerncape.gov.za/service/fostering-child
*Not their real names