Call for ‘safety parents’

2016-09-20 06:00

Philisa Abafazi Bethu Women and Children’s Project founder Lucinda Evans says she is concerned about the number of children that wander from home and parents don’t look for them for hours.

In the last three weeks, three children – between the ages of two and five – have been picked up by community members and brought to Evans who says all this is due to poor parenting or poor supervision.

“It is very concerning that children wander from home and parents don’t even notice that their children are not at home. Most of these parents will be under the influence of alcohol and children just take off. We are calling on parents to be extra careful. The community is not safe so parents need to keep an eye on their children. It’s so sad to see parents fail in looking after their children,” she says.

In South Africa, a child goes missing every five hours, according to figures released by the South African Police Service Missing Persons Bureau for 2013. This adds up to a total of 1697 children.

Fortunately, according to Missing Children South Africa’s statistics, 77% of children are found. Sadly, this still leaves at least 23% of the children not being located.

Evans says they are calling on community members to report parents who neglect their children.

“If you see that a child is not well looked after, please report that parent. We don’t want children to be left in vulnerable situations. It is very disturbing that parents only come looking after their children have been missing for a few hours. Let’s look after our children,” she says.

The organisation says they are doing everything they can to help children that might be in trouble. They are currently calling on parents to step in during emergencies. “We are calling on community members who want to help us as emergency safety parents. Emergency safety parents are those people that look after kids that are in vulnerable situations or they are picked up towards the end of the day and they want a place to sleep until something is organised for them. These are the people who will look after a child in the interim until a permanent solution is found. They will be provided training and they will be equipped with everything.”

V Those who want to be emergency safety parents can contact Evans on 021 802 4030.

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