How we make a difference

Emergency Care

Life threatening situations, a family crisis or vulnerable circumstances relating to physical abuse, sexual abuse, rape, abandonment, severe neglect, family violence or the risk thereof may necessitate the emergency removal of children from the care of their parents / caregivers.

Abandoned Children

Teenage and unwanted pregnancies or socio-economic challenges including poverty and lack of support are the major contributing factors to babies and even older children being abandoned by their mothers or caregivers.

Foster Care

Children are placed in foster care by the Children’s Court when it is determined that they are in need of nurture and protection.  Foster care can be for a short term (2 years) or a long term (until the child is 18 years old) period. 

Investigations into Child Abuse & Neglect

Child abuse is tragically rife in South Africa. On a daily basis reports of child abuse, neglect and high-risk situations are investigated and handled by our team of Social Service Professionals.

Mediation

Social migration from the traditional known family system to a wide variety of family systems i.e blended families has resulted in an increased need for mediation services.  As part of our Family Support program, we provide mediation services to parents who find themselves either in conflict or disagreement about the primary care and subsequent parental contact with their children. 

School Counselling Program

In 2008 principals from primary schools in Germiston asked us to provide on-site counselling services.  The need was identified amongst learners who were struggling with their school work as a result of emotional disruption and trauma.

Parental Empowerment Program

Parenting does not come with a handbook or guide.  It is often a trial and error situation.  Additional anxieties, fears and disruptive circumstances impact on a parent’s ability to deal with their parental responsibilities.

To support and guide parents in understanding child behaviour and the parenting challenges abounding in the 21st century, we have developed a Parental Empowerment Program.

This program can be presented in individual, couple or group settings and is also available to other professionals.

Nutritional Support

Food and shelter are the most basic needs of any living creature.  Where we find families and children in destitute circumstances, we do our utmost to provide food parcels.

This program is 100% dependent upon support we receive from the community.  We have created a basic pre-packed food parcel which we hand out to identified families.

Donations of any non-perishable goods is also welcome.

Click here to see contents of the pre-packed food parcel. 

Click here if you want to sponsor or make a donation towards a pre-packed food parcel.

Emergency Care

Life threatening situations, a family crisis or vulnerable circumstances relating to physical abuse, sexual abuse, rape, abandonment, severe neglect, family violence or the risk thereof may necessitate the emergency removal of children from the care of their parents/caregivers.

Reports of such circumstances are thoroughly investigated and may lead to removals and investigations, conducted in terms of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 to safeguard the care and protection of children.

Our emergency care placements rely heavily on the support, commitment, and participation of ordinary people from the community.  These bighearted individuals are always willing to assist in extraordinary circumstances because they are genuinely devoted to making a difference to the lives of children in desperate need of responsible adult / parental care.

Dedicated temporary safe care parents generously invest time, energy, commitment, and emotional effort to ensure the well-being of our children.

To act as a temporary safe care provider, people need to be carefully screened and rigourously trained in the requirements of care plus the legal processes and expectations involved.  Depending on the circumstances, the duration of such care varies between a weekend and a period of up to 3 months.

In instances where suitable temporary safe care parents or extended family members are not available, we place children in community and government structures pending the finalisation of the investigation to safeguard their care and protection.

For more information or if you are interested in being screened as a temporary safe care parent to assist us in these emergency situations, click here to fill in your information in order for us to contact you to discuss your interest.

Safety & Protection

Abandoned Children

Teenage and unwanted pregnancies or socio-economic challenges including poverty and lack of support are the major contributing factors to babies and even older children being abandoned by their mothers or caregivers.

Despairing caregivers sometimes go to desperate measures when they are unable or unwilling to assume the responsibility of parenting.

This rabid desperation results in the abandonment of babies/children in life-threatening places such as dustbins, fields, open spaces, toilets, or less threatening places such as hospitals, public places, or even with neighbours, friends, or extended family members.

All abandoned babies are placed in temporary safe care pending a final placement in either foster care or for adoption. Placement of babies with temporary safe care parents requires us to meet the needs of an unexpectedly placed baby. This support includes the provision of nappies, baby milk, clothing, blankets, etc. For more information on baby necessities for our BABY 1st BOX Project click here

If you are interested in adoption click here to download a list of accredited Adoption Agencies.

Safety & Protection

Foster Care

Children are placed in foster care by the Children’s Court when it is determined that they are in need of nurture and protection.  Foster care can be for a short term (2 year) or a long term (until the child is 18 years old) period. 

The purpose of foster care is to provide care and support to a child whilst ensuring that their best interest remains protected.  Children who have been orphaned by the death of one or both of their parents can be placed in foster care.  

If the circumstances surrounding children place them at risk of being abused or neglected, a foster care placement may also be considered. An opportunity is then created to assist and support parents to rehabilitate themselves or change their circumstances in order to allow children to return to their parental care. 

7% of the children we work with are currently in foster care. (Can also be used on the stats part of the website)

Generally, there are two types of foster care:

Related (also referred to as kinship care)

Orphans often find themselves living in desperate, destitute circumstances. They are dependent on extended family members to provide their daily needs.  These family members are, more often than not, also engulfed in poverty. Such impoverished circumstances necessitate the kinship foster care placement; with grandparents, aunts, or siblings.

Over recent years, a growing concern is founded in the depletion of family support. Unfortunately, this results in a situation where already vulnerable children are transferred from one caregiver to another – experiencing multiple loss of caregivers.  This is sometimes caused by the death of grandparents who have traditionally been alternative family caregivers.

Non-Related

Non-related foster care is the case when a child in need of care and protection is placed with a family that is not any blood relation to the child.  These family environments generally stem from community members who come forward to be screened and trained as foster parents.  They strive to provide the children in their care with protection as well as a nurturing family environment in which they can develop to their full potential.

17% of our foster children are in non-related foster care. (also to be placed on the stats page)

It is not uncommon for the placement of children in non-related foster care to progress to a successful application for adoption by their foster parents.  This permanency creates stability and a sense of belonging for the child within the family.

The number of non-related foster parents has decreased over the past few years.  This decrease could be ascribed to various adverse changes in the status quo of community members including, but not limited to, declining socio, physical and financial circumstances.

Parental Restoration

Investigations into Child Abuse & Neglect

Child abuse is tragically rife in South Africa. On a daily basis reports of child abuse, neglect and high-risk situations are investigated and handled by our team of Social Service Professionals.

In terms of the Children’s Act 38/2005 all matters of reported and suspected abuse and neglect are investigated.  Part of the investigation consists of a risk assessment as to what kind of intervention or support services can be offered to the child and the family.

The pulse of this service is the purposeful protection of children. To that end, we focus on strengthening families and taking whatever measures possible to prevent the unnecessary removal of children. Understandably, a child’s removal from the family results in a further level of trauma. 

The outcome of life-threatening situations, however, is the unquestionable removal of children from their homes to ensure their safety and protection. 

Reports of suspected child abuse and neglect are received from different structures in the community i.e schools, courts, neighbours, family members, the child themselves, and any other person or structure that is in contact with a child.

For more information on whom is obliged to report child abuse click here

If you have concerns about a suspected situation of child abuse and want us to contact you, please fill in your details below and we will call you. 

Strengthening Families

Mediation

Social migration from the traditional known family system to a wide variety of family systems i.e blended families has resulted in an increased need for mediation services.  As part of our Family Support program, we provide mediation services to parents who find themselves either in conflict or disagreement about the primary care and subsequent parental contact with their children. 

Parents who are separated and cannot agree on visitation rights or care placement of their child, can approach Child Welfare Germiston directly to assist them in mediating the disagreement.

Alternatively, parents in conflict can approach the local Children’s court for assistance.  Upon such application, the court will order a social work investigation to aid in the potential resolution of the dispute or, on the other hand, provide recommendations to the court.

Child Welfare Germiston are able to assist in drafting of Parenting Plans (between parents) and Parental Rights and Responsibilities Agreements (between parents and 3rd parties).  

Family Support

School Counselling Program

In 2008 principals from primary schools in Germiston asked us to provide on-site counselling services.  The need was identified amongst learners who were struggling with their school work as a result of emotional disruption and trauma.

Difficulties with school work are often signs of distress for children who may have suffered the loss of a parent through death, divorce, separation or who are being exposed to other circumstances affecting their overall wellbeing.  Bullying, suicide attempts, exposure to domestic violence and abuse are all familial circumstances that impact on the ability of a learner to focus within the school environment.

The purpose of this service is to empower the learner to deal with whatever situation is upsetting and support them in focussing on their school work.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic can also be a factor augmenting the above-mentioned stressors and circumstances requiring psycho-social support services.

On site counselling

Our Success Stories

Lara (5) & Christo (7) were left orphaned after their mom committed suicide. Both were drugged to prevent them from witnessing the suicide. Brother and sister were emotionally traumatised, under developed with special needs when they were placed in non-related foster care. Thanks to the patience, care and acceptance of their new family they are doing well at school, love life and as care free as they could be.
*Thabo (now 9 years old) was a premature baby, malnourished, under-stimulated and by the age of 10 months was not sitting by himself. He was only lying down with limited responses to the environment. After placement in foster care with a loving foster mother, he is now a walking, running, talking and happy go lucky little boy who has a wonderful sense of humor. Thabo is an example of the difference a nurturing, stimulating and supportive environment can make in the life of a child.
Belinda suffering from FAS was raped by her uncle at the age of 4 years. Repeated emotional rejections by significant persons in her life led to destructive behaviour and placement in numerous Children's homes. Out of school for periods of 6 - 12 months at a time made academic progress difficult. Belinda was placed in a Children's home which could address her educational, emotional and therapeutic needs towards healing and develop to her best potential.