Grant for Fostering a Child (Foster Child Grant)

Description:

A foster child is a child who is removed from their parents and legally placed in the care of foster parents, in terms of the Child Care Act. If you have been appointed a foster parent by a court, you can get a monthly payment from the government for your foster child.

 

You (the foster parent) and the child must both be resident in South Africa at the time of making the application. However, you do not have to be South African citizens.

Foster parents can only get the grant for poor children whose financial situation is below a certain level. The test to decide is called a means test. The means test depends on the income of the foster child, not on the income of the parents. The income of the foster parents is not counted.

The means test for the foster child grant says that if the income in a year of the foster child is less than twice the annual amount of the foster child grant, then you can get the grant. From 2012 the foster child grant is R770 a month.

Usually the grant is for two years, as courts usually appoint foster parents for a two-year period only. After two years, children are usually adopted, returned to their parents or placed with other foster parents. However, a social worker can extend the grant depending on the circumstances.

Foster grants are usually paid out until the child turns 18 years old. It stops when the child leaves school or is earning an income above the stipulated means test. If it happens that the child who is turning 18 years old is still in secondary/high school (but not a tertiary facility), the grant can be paid out until the end of the year in which the child turns 21 years old.

If the child is disabled, you can get a care-dependency grant as well as a foster child grant, if you qualify.

Instructions:

You can apply for the foster child grant by filling in an application form at your nearest South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) or counter service point of a Regional Office. You do not need to pay anything to make the application.

 

The application process should not take longer than two hours. You will be interviewed, have your fingerprints taken, and given information on whether you qualify for the grant. You will also need to provide certain documents, including certified copies of the following:

 

  • Your bar-coded identity document.
  • The child's birth certificate, which if South African, must have a bar-coded identity number.
  • The court order which placed the child in your foster care.
  • Any documents, such as a maintenance payment order, which shows the child's income.
  • If the child is at school, the child's school certificate.

 

When you make the application, you should say how you would like the money to be paid. The money can be paid out in cash on specific days at a Pay Point, 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 thirty 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 successful.

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.

Payments will stop if both foster parents die, if the child dies, if the child is no longer in your custody as a foster parent, when the child turns 18, or leaves school, or when the child starts earning an income above the qualifying amount. Your grant will be reviewed from time to time to check this. You must inform the Department of any changes in your or your child's circumstances.

GENERAL ENQUIRIES:

Department of Social Development
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.
  • How you can also report any fraud or corruption.
Provided by:
Government Body: (The Government of South Africa)
The content on this page was last updated on 6 September 2013