Department fails foster mom and kids

2018-10-25 06:02
Prisca Munhenga struggles to make ends meet as department of social development fails her       PHOTO: SIYABONGA KALIPA

Prisca Munhenga struggles to make ends meet as department of social development fails her PHOTO: SIYABONGA KALIPA

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Priscilla Munhenga, a 55 year-old grandmother who stays in Philippi, says she has been forced to fork out her own money to take care of the needs of six children under her foster care.

She says this is because the Department of Social Development-responsible for their social welfare- has not been playing its constitutional role. Even as she is armed with a two-week Safety Parenting training programme, organised by the department, nothing has been coming forth.

According to her, she has received funding from the department at first, but the grant has not been flowing consistently.

In August, she says, she received a paltry R1 728 for all the children under her care.

Munhenga says she started looking after her six charges last year, after completing the two week Safety Parenting training programme provide by the provincial Department of Social Development.

She says the training equipped them with skills for looking after abused, abandoned, orphaned, at risk or neglected children.

Since then, she has been looking after children between the ages of two and 18.

According to the standards set by the department, Munhenga is entitled to receive a grant of R960 per child per month.

However, none of that has been forthcoming, according to her. Munhenga said the children were brought to her by social workers. “They come from abusive homes and impoverished families.”

She said she has to see to their welfare and schooling on her own.

“One of the children has to walk to Mitchell’s Plain daily for her schooling, and runs the risk of being mugged or raped.

Esther Lewis, from the department, acknowledged Munhenga in an e-mail response , but could not offer any explanation regarding her present circumstances.

Munhenga: “It is too much, I have to put food on the table, lunch for school every day, and transport to take them to school.”

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