Gauteng struggles with a huge foster care placement backlog

Issued by Refiloe Nt’sekhe MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Social Development
11 Sep 2019 in Press Statements

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is deeply concerned that thousands of children in this province are still awaiting foster care placement.

According to the Gauteng Department of Social Development’s 2019/20 First Quarter Performance Report, only 702 children were placed on the waiting list for foster care.

The department failed to meet its target of 1338 children to be placed on the waiting list.

In the department’s Third Quarter Report for 2018/19 financial year about 727 children were placed on the waiting list for foster care compared to the target of 3 452 children.

The number of children who are on the waiting list and those that are queueing to be placed on the waiting list keeps increasing every quarter.

The fact that the department set a high target for children to be placed on the foster care waiting list indicates that Gauteng has many children in dire need of foster care placement.

Some of these children have been on the waiting list for almost three years.

The government is denying these children an opportunity of a safe place to stay and access to income for their basic needs.

These children who are still on the waiting list, do not have access to a foster care grant that is meant to take care of them.

The department blames the Department of Justice for its slow progress in processing the legal documents for foster care yet they consistently fail to engage with their counterpart so as to expedite the placements.

Its high time that the Gauteng Department of Social Development takes responsibility for the foster care backlog as it is part of the department’s core mandate.

We will continue to put pressure on the MEC for Social Development, Thuliswa Nkabinde-Khawe to ensure that these children are placed into foster care as a matter of urgency.