"Following the technical task meeting on the Review of the Child Protection System which was held in Birchwood Conference Centre on the 26-27 October 2015; you are kindly requested to provide us with various pieces of legislation, policies, strategies, implementation guidelines, norms and standards, as well as research papers on children.
The documents will inform the Review process of the Child Protection System that will strengthen and enhance a harmonized and standardized child protection response to children in South Africa. The need for the exercise emanate from the lack of systematic review of the child protection response to determine the effectiveness of implementing the legislation, policies, guidelines and practice. The exercise will thus provide evidenced-base information on which the system can be reviewed to determine what is working well; and what is not working in order to identify elements for capacity building to strengthen child protection response".
"Thank you for the information, this process is very interesting, and should produce some useful results.
Sam [Assistant Director] and I have felt for a while that while we have excellent policies in the welfare sector, somehow they are not implemented correctly. There has been a noticeable deterioration in the mental health of the children coming into care over the past 5 years, which should be ringing alarm bells very loudly, but we are not hearing them. How can the mental health of the children of a country deteriorate and nobody reacts or does anything about it? And if it takes us 20 years to do research and fact finding, and meetings and talk shops and writing up policies and making plans that once again we don’t implement, how many more of our children will be destroyed, and how many more babies will they have who are born to repeat the neglect, abuse and trauma of their parents?
A review of the Child Protection System is a good start. Evidence-based information to determine what is working well and what is not working in order to strengthen the child protection response is a good start. Kids Haven started its own therapy centre this year as a response to the needs of the children in our care. The psychologist in charge, Sadiyya Haffejee is doing research herself into what our children need to survive. If we have any evidence-based information we will forward it to you. I will share this with colleagues who will do the same.
The situation is serious enough to be declared a state of emergency. If we don’t respond adequately we will not cope with the consequences in the future. Already we are drowning under the seriousness of the mental health needs of the children in the country.