Become a safety parent
Temporary safe care
We believe a child’s immediate and extended family is the best place for them to flourish and develop. If we have reason to believe that a child is unsafe in their own home, we will remove them and place them in temporary safe care.
Temporary safe care is an extraordinary measure that can be used by a designated social worker or police official where they believe, on reasonable grounds, that the child is in immediate danger.
We will send a designated social worker or police officer to remove the child from their home if there’s evidence that the child is being abused, neglected or exploited. The child will then be placed in temporary safe care, where they’ll stay pending the outcome of a formal court process.
Temporary safe care can be provided either by an approved person (related or unrelated) or a place of safety that is approved to deliver such a programme to children.
What is a safety parent?
A safety parent is a fit and proper person, over the age of 18 years, who takes temporary care of no more than six children, except where the children are siblings.
If you have a passion to help children and are interested in partnering with the Department of Social Development by opening up your home to care and safeguard vulnerable children, you can volunteer to become a safety parent.
How to become a safety parent
Prospective safety parents must:
- have an interest in the wellbeing of a child at risk;
- have a police clearance and a Form 30 notification – this applies to all the adults residing on the premises of the applicant(s);
- have a Form 39 approval from the DSD to provide temporary safe care.
Due to the nature of the emergency placements, prospective safety parents should be available at any time and at short notice.
What happens after I have applied to become a safety parent?
Applicants are carefully screened to determine if they are suitable to care for children. Once approved, the safety parent will receive training on the Children’s Act, roles and responsibilities of safety parents and how to care for vulnerable children who may have experienced trauma.
Once the placement of a child is finalised, safety parents are given an emergency kit (e.g. in the case of a baby, nappies and formula milk) and a basic daily fee towards the care of the child.
To sustain its pool of safety parents in the Province to provide this crucial service, the Department invites interested persons to volunteer to contact their nearest DSD local office or contact the DSD hotline on 0800 220 250.