With millions of children in need of foster care in the country, non-profit organisations are calling on South Africans to open their hearts and homes.
Two Cape Town organisations in 2018 started an initiative to raise awareness about foster care amid the many challenges they face with regards to placements. They now plan to mark World Foster Day annually on the 31st of May.
According to Section 28 of South Africa’s Bill of Rights, every child has the right to basic nutrition, shelter, health care and social services. But many go without these basic human rights.
“Our children’s act focuses on family preservation and reunification, which means that a foster care placement is only for a period of two years, and then the chance exist that the child can be placed back in the care of the parents, so foster parents aren’t willing to commit to a two-year process, get attached to this child and then possibly give back to the parents,” says Clinical social worker, Charné Bennett.
36-year-old Pieter Bester and his brother were fortunate to get foster parents at the ages of seven. Bester believes children should not be left orphaned.
Now organisations in Cape Town joined hands to raise awareness, educate and support foster families around the world.
According to the World Foster Movement, about 3.7-million children in South Africa are orphaned and in need of care.
“The challenges we face is that we have social workers with an extremely high case of children that need to be placed in foster homes, but we don’t have nearly enough foster parents to take in these children, this ends up that many children are stuck in the system without ever develop their identity of being part of a family, I am a foster mother myself and I experience the joy of foster care every day in my house,” says World Foster Day Movement’s Kobie Abrie.
People are encouraged to draw three smiley faces on their fingertips, taking a picture and share it on social media – to spread the word.
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