What is the Child Protection Register?

(Western Cape Government)
Summary
In terms of section 111 of the Children's Act 38 of 2005, the Director General must keep and maintain a register to be called a National Child Protection Register. The National Child Protection Register consists of a Part A and a Part B.

Part A must have a record of all the reports of abuse or deliberate neglect of a child, all convictions of all persons on charges involving the abuse or deliberate neglect of a child and all findings by a children's court that a child is in need of care and protection because of the abuse and deliberate neglect of the child (See: Section 114 of the Children's Act 38 of 2005).

Part B must have a record of persons who are unsuitable to work with children and to use the information in the register (part B) in order to protect children in general against abuse from these persons (See: Section 118 of the Children's Act 38 of 2005).

All children who have been abused and form part of an investigation relating to any form of child abuse which is physical, emotional, sexual or deliberate neglect must be entered onto Part A of the National Child Protection Register.

The purpose of the National Child Protection Register and in particular Part A of the register is to:

  • Have a record of abuse or deliberate neglect inflicted on specific children.
  • Have a record of the circumstances surrounding the abuse or deliberate neglect inflicted on the children.
  • To use the information in the register in order to protect these children from further abuse or neglect.
  • To monitor cases and services to such children.
  • To share information between professionals that are part of the child protection team.
  • To determine patterns and trends of abuse or deliberate neglect of children.
  • To use the information in the register for planning and budgetary purposes.
  • To prevent deliberate neglect of children.
  • To protect children on a national, provincial and municipal level (see Section 113 of the Children's Act 38 of 2005).
  • To link the child/family to social work services focusing on preventative services, specialised counseling (if necessary) and family therapy.
  • Guide the children's court when finding the child in need of care and protection.
  • Conduct research that will be used to inform policies and strategies focusing on child abuse and neglect.

Through the National Child Protection Register, the provincial Department of Social Development will able to determine trends, patterns and high prevalence rate of child abuse and neglect in certain communities, and will be able to target these communities and other communities by focusing on awareness and prevention programmes, and promote the wellbeing of children, build resilient families and communities in order for them to take responsibility for the care and protection of their children.

Furthermore, any correctional official, dentist, homeopath, immigration official, labour inspector, legal practitioner, medical practitioner, midwife, minister of religion, nurse, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, psychologist, religious leader, social service professional, social worker, speech therapist, teacher, traditional leader, traditional health practitioner, member of staff or volunteer worker at a partial care facility, drop-in centre or child and youth care centre who, on reasonable grounds, concludes that a child has been abused emotionally, physically, sexually or has been deliberately neglected must report that conclusion to the relevant authority, being the Department of Social Development, registered Child Protection Organisation or a police official using a form 22. This form 22 can be obtained from any nearest Social Development Office.

Once the abuse has been reported using a Form 22, the Department of Social Development or a registered Child Protection Organisation must report the abuse to the Director General using a Form 23 so that any child who has been abused in any form be entered onto Part A of the Child Protection Register.

The National Child Protection Register is at all times to kept confidential and access, disclosure and inquires to the register can be provided in terms of Section 115, 116 and 117 of the Children's Act 38 of 2005.

Source: Department of Social Development

The content on this page was last updated on 15 March 2014