Social assistance for orphaned children living with family

Type Report
Title Social assistance for orphaned children living with family
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
This essay describes the current crisis in foster care and outlines how it arose because the Foster Child Grant (FCG), which is linked to the child protection system, was used to meet the social assistance (poverty-related) needs of orphaned children. The foster care crisis is so serious that a High Court ordered the Department of Social Development (DSD) to come up with a “comprehensive legal solution”. The solution should ensure that
social assistance is readily available for eligible children, including orphans, while also ensuring abused and neglected children have access to quality social welfare and child protection services. One proposed solution is to revert to the Child Support Grant (CSG) as the preferred social grant for orphans living with extended family, with a possible top-up in the grant amount. If accompanied by the necessary amendments to the Children’s Act, this could be a step towards a solution to the foster care backlogs and lapsing of FCGs. It may help to alleviate the pressure on social workers so that they can be more responsive to children in need of intervention and protection services.

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