Child Protection Week 2012
Child Protection Week was initiated in 1997 in order to raise awareness, as well as to mobilise all sectors and communities to encourage the development, care and protection of children.
The national theme for this year is: "Working Together to Protect Children" and is aimed at encouraging communities to take full responsibility for their children's safety. The theme embodies some of the most important aspects of a child's well-being, which include access to quality healthcare and education, with the main focus being children with disabilities.
Children in South Africa live in a society with a Constitution that has the highest regard for their rights and for the equality and dignity of everyone. Protecting children from violence, exploitation and abuse is not only a basic value, but also an obligation as clearly set out in Article 28 of the South African Constitution.
The Western Cape Department of Social Development will collaborate with funded non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that work within the children and families sector in the province to commemorate Child Protection Week.
The Western Cape Child Protection Week was officially launched in Elsie's River. The event emphasised the department's goal of highlighting services aimed at children with disabilities while raising awareness and promoting inclusion of children with all forms of disabilities. Other sub-themes that will be promoted throughout June include:
- Strengthening of positive interaction between family members.
- Modelling positive discipline.
- Encouraging families to work together in protecting and advancing children's welfare.
- Educating parents and caregivers about their responsibilities in the protection of children.
Your child's welfare is important and you can ensure your child's needs are taken care of through access to government social grants, quality specialised education and healthcare.
Where Can I Take My Child for Treatment?
The Western Cape Health Department has a number of institutions that cater especially for children with disabilities. The Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital is a flagship institution for children in the Western Cape. You can visit the website to find out more about services offered.
How Do I Apply for a Disability Grant for My Child?
If you are the parent, guardian, foster parent or custodian of any child between the ages of one and 18 who needs full-time care because of mental or physical disability, you can get a monthly payment from the government called a Care Dependency Grant. The child must need and have permanent home care.
You must both be living in South Africa at the time of applying for the grant. You must also be looking after the child legally as a parent, guardian, foster parent or custodian parent, so you must either be the child's parent or have a court order which says you must look after the child. Unless you are the foster parent of the disabled child, both you and the child must be South African citizens to get the grant. The applicant must submit a medical/assessment report confirming permanent, severe disability.
Your application form will be completed in the presence of an officer from the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA). When your application is completed, you will be given a receipt. The receipt must be kept as proof of your application. You will also need to show certain documents and provide some information, including:
- Your South African identity document (ID), which must be bar-coded.
- The child's birth certificate, which must have an ID number.
- A medical report for the child, which must say what the child is able to do. This is known as a functional assessment.
- If you are the foster parent of the child, the court order making you the foster parent.
- Proof of your marital status, such as a marriage certificate, divorce papers, or a death certificate of your spouse, or a sworn statement (affidavit) if you have never married.
- Proof of the income for you and your spouse, such as UIF card ("blue card"), wage certificate or pension details.
- Proof of the income of the child.
The money can be paid out in cash on specific days at designated paypoints, or you can get the money paid electronically into your bank account. Remember that normal bank charges apply to any money going in and out of your bank account. You can decide to change the payment method at any time by filling in a form at a Welfare office, but the change will only happen a month later.
It will take about 30 working days for your application to be processed and checked and either approved or refused. You will get a letter saying whether your application has been approved or refused, and if it is refused the letter will tell you how to appeal.
If it is approved, you will start getting payments within three months. The payments will be backdated to the day you applied for the grant. You can find out what has happened to your application and when you can expect payment by telephoning the SASSA toll-free helpline on 0800 601 011.
The grant will be cancelled if you die, if the child dies, if the child is admitted into psychiatric care or rehabilitation centre or any other institution, or when the child turns 18. Once the child turns 18, the child can apply for a disability grant. The grant will be reviewed from time to time to check this. You must inform SASSA of any changes in your or your child's circumstances.
You can contact the Department of Social Development and the South African Social Security Agency toll-free help line: 0800 601 011 for information on:
- Pay-out dates.
- Qualifying rules for all government grants.
- District office addresses and contact numbers.
- For help with what has happened to your application.
Where Can I Find Special Needs Schools?
The Western Cape has several learning centres that cater for children with disabilities; for a centre nearer to you, view the Western Cape Department of Education special needs schools list.
Department of Social Development
Tel: 021 483 5045
Website: Western Cape Department of Social Development
Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities
Tel: 021 469 8300
Western Cape Government Special Education Support Services
Dr Matthi Theron
Tel: 021 467 2027/8
Fax: 021 425 7465
SASSA - Western Cape
Tel: 021 469 0200
Toll-Free Number: 0800 601 011