It has been estimated that 1 in every 2 children will experience crisis at some point in their lives. CHILD WELFARE DURBAN & DISTRICT aims to make a difference in the lives of children who have been sexually and emotionally abused, neglected, orphaned and abandoned.
The area of operation of the organization is the Durban Metropolitan area, extending to Umhlanga in the north and including Lamontville and Umlazi in the south. As the largest Welfare NPO in South Africa, resources are very limited in relation to the needs of the community that is served. The organization manages over 40,000 different cases involving children that have been at risk. This mandate would be impossible to fulfill without active partnerships with the broader community, since the organization requires resources in order to adequately meet the needs of the children that it aims to protect.
Our services are rendered at 4 levels, as follows:
1) Prevention- This service is provided to families who have children and are in crisis, in order to strengthen and build their capacity and self-reliance to address problems that may occur in the family environment which, if not attended to, may lead to statutory intervention. This includes awareness programmes and education of communities and key role players. In 2014, 39 523 community members benefitted from preventative programmes focussing on child protection; whilst 10 536 benefited from programmes focussing on HIV/AIDS which is intrinsically relative to poverty, neglect and a cause of children becoming vulnerable.
2) Early Intervention- This service is provided to families where there are children identified as being vulnerable to or at risk of harm or removal into alternative care. This includes counselling, therapy and mediation. In 2014, 12 319 clients benefitted from early intervention services through visits at home and office interviews.
3) Statutory Services- when early intervention services have not been successful, the child is subject to a children’s court enquiry for statutory placement. Placements are either family/ alternate care; foster care, residential care and adoption. In 2014, 90 foster placements were finalised; and 42 abandoned babies were placed in crisis placements. 32 local adoptions were finalised in 2014; and 6 international adoptions were effected.
4) Residential care and Continuum of care: In instances where statutory intervention is necessary, our Organisation supervises and monitors the placement of children