What do we do?
Child Welfare SA Helderberg has a strong presence within the communities we service with our head office in Somerset West and two satellite offices, one in Macassar and the other in Sir Lowry’s Pass Village. These satellite offices ensure we are easily accessible to the communities and ensure our strong visual presence.
We employ seven professional social workers and five social auxiliary workers to service these areas. It is often these ‘unseen’ continuous services that make the difference with these vulnerable children. Change only comes with intensive, ongoing daily work
We provide the following essential services
1. Community awareness and prevention
We run the following programmes throughout the year:
Child abuse prevention programmes – teaching children about their bodies, what constitutes abuse who to report it too and how to keep themselves safe.
Holiday programmes for children – these programmes keep the children off the streets and protected over the holiday periods. Children learn to engage in positive recreational activities.
Community engagement – making the community aware of the Children’s Act, including parental rights and responsibilities, child maltreatment, how to report cases and encouraging them to work together to keep their children safe.
2. Early Intervention/ Non-Statutory services
We intervene, investigate (home and school visits) and provide a detailed assessment of each child reported to be in a vulnerable situation.
Safety and risk assessments are done and intervention plans are put in place through involving the parents, family and other resources in the community.
Parenting programmes through groupwork to teach positive parenting skills.
These services are rendered on a daily basis and aim to mitigate risk factors in families through development of their skills to care for themselves.
3. Statutory Services
We are ‘first responders’ in our designated areas for reported cases of children in need of care and protection as a result of physical, emotional, sexual, mental abuse and/or neglect.
In terms of the Children’s Act we are mandated to remove children at risk, place the child in a place of safety and gather the necessary information to bring the matter before court.The time-consuming statutory work is complicated and challenging as it involves a lengthy process of assessment, investigations and the gathering of evidence for court, but at the same time keeping the best interests of the children involved in mind.
After these children are placed in alternative care the social workers monitor the development of the children in foster care and provide support to foster parents. Our social workers spend months walking this difficult path with individual children.
4. Reunification or Reintegration Services
Continuous services are rendered to the biological parents of a removed child in order to facilitate the child’s return to its families where possible.