The Democratic Alliance (DA) is appalled, disappointed, but not surprised, by the failure of the Department of Social Development (DSD) that led to the backlog in the South African foster care system.
The DSD this week made a presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Social Development about the state of the foster care system, where the crucial question was the backlog of foster care orders.
It was revealed that by November 2019, there will be over 128 00 orders that will have lapsed, and 68 000 by the end of July 2019. These lapsed orders indicate that 128 000 children have not been checked up on by the DSD. This means that we don’t know whether those children are still safe or whether the situation has improved with regards to reuniting such children with their families. This is also indicative of the fact that the DSD has not visited the child nor monitored their situation in a period of two years.
The foster-care system is failing a number of South Africa’s vulnerable children.
Section 158 of the Children’s Act allows the children’s court to review the foster care order every two years unless the court specifies a shorter period and,
Section 159 (1)(a) of the Children’s Act demands that a foster care order issued by the children’s court lapses on expiry two (2) years from the date it was issued.
Therefore, an orphaned child has to be placed in the child protection system to qualify for the Foster Care Grant. This means that for orders