Childhood | Western Cape Government


A Safer Home for the Whole Family

(Public Information)
This guide on how to ensure that your home and garden are safe for you and your children was sponsored by HTH, in association with Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Southern Africa.

All you need to know about child maintenance

(Public Information)
When it comes to our children, strong commitment and love aren't negotiable.  Unfortunately, not all parents honour this duty, specifically their legal duty to maintain the well-being of their children. Considering this, the child maintenance system ensures that all parents honour their duty to maintain their children.

Child Abuse Treatment

The service aims to identify and treat children from birth to 14 years of age who have been physically, sexually or emotionally abused and neglected. Children that are suspected of having been abused can be taken to a primary healthcare clinic where they will be diagnosed and counselled. The clinic sister or doctor will give the child a detailed physical examination and will also take a history. It is essential that the abused child be taken to a health facility as soon as possible. The longer the delay, the more likely the child will suffer severe emotional and psychological trauma.

Child and Youth Care Centres

Children under the age of 18 years old, who are living and working on the streets, are urged to seek accommodation at child and youth care centres that provide specialised programmes and are registered with the Provincial Department of Social Development.

Child Developmental Screening and Growth Monitoring

Mothers/caregivers are advised to bring their newborn(s) to primary healthcare clinics for regular check-ups. Health care staff will monitor the child's Development Growth Developmental screening is done routinely, during clinic visits for immunisation. Screening for developmental disability occurs thrice, when the child is:

Children's Rights

(Public Information)
This document sets out children's rights in an easy-to-read format.

Circles of Support: Caring for Children

(Public Information)
Find out basic information about how to create a circle of support to care for children in difficult home situations.

Help when a child has been arrested

What is the Child Justice Act (CJA)?   Since 1 April 2010, children who committed crime are dealt with in terms of the Child Justice Act (CJA), instead of the normal criminal procedure which is used for adults. The aim of the CJA is to set up a child justice system specifically for children in conflict with the law. On 19 August 2022, the Child Justice Act was amended to increase the minimum age of criminal capacity from 10 years to 12 years.   Who classifies as a child?  

Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI)

The IMCI aims to improve the management of children at primary care level in order to reduce the number of deaths in children in developing countries.

Integrated Nutrition Programme

Malnutrition is a serious problem in South Africa and is one of the biggest contributors to childhood illness and death. It's estimated that about 27% of South African children are stunted from a lack of adequate nutrition in the early years of their lives. Malnutrition includes both under and over nutrition as well as micronutrient deficiency.

Poisons Information Helpline of the Western Cape

The occurrence of accidental poisoning is unfortunately common. Many children unintentionally drink or eat poisonous products or medications, often mistaking them for edible foodstuff.

Preparing for School

Find information about locating a school, school-readiness testing, parent's rights and responsibilities relating to schools, admission to schools and more.

Screening for Developmental Disabilities in Pre-School Children

(Public Information)
(File type: pdf; size: 449.02 KB)
Detailed guidelines for health workers on how to screen for developmental disabilities in children aged from zero to six weeks, nine months and 18 months. Information is also given on when to refer to cases up the line.