Min Fernandez appeals to communities to work together to safeguard our children | Western Cape Government

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Min Fernandez appeals to communities to work together to safeguard our children

7 February 2022

The Western Cape Minister for Social Development, Sharna Fernandez, is calling upon society to join hands in the fight to protect our province’s children who continue to fall prey to various forms of violence and abuse.

“Our children rely on us to look out for their wellbeing and protection. And during this time, it is imperative that we do all we can to keep them safe and prevent abuse and neglect.

As a major provider of child protection services, we have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people. We share this responsibility with parents, staff, volunteers, and other agencies, ” said Minister Fernandez.

The provincial Department of Social Development’s (DSD) latest statistics reveal that during the period 01 April – 31 December 2021, 48 13 children were reported to be victims of violence or abuse.

*See table below for more information:

CHILD PROTECTION

Total

Type of Abuse

Quarter 1

(01 April -30 June 2021)

Quarter 2

(01 July – 30 September 2021)

Quarter 3

(01 October – 31 December 2021)

TOTAL

Emotional

225

93

167

485

Physical

292

219

300

811

Deliberate Neglect

654

465

643

1 762

Sexual

660

521

526

1 707

Abandonment

8

11

7

26

Child Labour

0

0

0

0

Child Trafficking

0

0

0

0

Street Children

1

0

2

3

Child Abduction

0

0

0

0

Teenage Pregnancy

0

11

8

19

Total

1 840

1 320

1 653

4 813

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The primary responsibility for safeguarding children and young people rests with their parents and carers. There may be times when the Department refers a child, young person or an adult to statutory services, however, everyone we work with shares the responsibility to safeguard the wellbeing of our service users. All our staff are asked to abide by our safeguarding policies, and to be responsible for the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of their work.

Contact information:

We urge everyone to look out for our children, and if abuse is suspected, this must be reported. A report can be logged with a DSD local office, designated child protection organisation, the police, or with a health care practitioner.

We urge you to report it to the following channels:

·         Calling the Western Cape Department of Social Development toll free: 0800 220 250

·         Calling the SAPs crime stop hotline: 10111

·         Calling Childline: 0861 322 322; or 

·         Calling Child Welfare SA: 0861 424 453

For more information about our other services, please refer to the Western Cape Department’s website on the link below:

https://www.westerncape.gov.za/dept/social-development

Media Enquiries: 

Joshua Covenant Chigome

Spokesperson for the Minister of Social Development, Minister Sharna Fernandez

Tel: 021 483 9217

Cell: 083 661 4949

Email: Joshua.chigome@westerncape.gov.za­