PLANS to have a new crisis care centre that will house abused, abandoned and neglected children in Tongaat are at an advance stage. The Pure Hearts Safe House is a project of the Tongaat Child and Family Welfare Society. It was launched in Tongaat on November 14. It is an initiative undertaken to protect the children. The safe house aims to provide a provisional protective, nurturing and supportive environment for abandoned, abused and neglected children in times of crisis. According to the society, reports compiled last year revealed that more than 70 children from the Tongaat community were being exposed to circumstances detrimental to their well-being.Social work manager Jo Moodley said: “We get a lot of cases about abused children. As the society we do not have a proper facility to keep the abused children. “We hope that this proposed centre will allow social workers to do all the paper work while the victims are kept at the centre. When we receive a report about the abused or abandoned child, social workers start an investigation. “To have a successful investigation we need to have a centre for the victims. Allegations made by children require thorough investigation to be undertaken by a social worker in order to prevent further harm,” Moodley said. She went on to say that one of the many challenges they are facing as a child protection agency was that cases are brought to the attention of the society very late in the day.“There are a few existing facilities that could accommodate these children, however, the Department of Social Development and the Department of Justice have set a myriad of requirements that delay the process of formalising placements. These existing facilities are unable to accommodate children without a valid court order,” she said.The proposed centre is expected to open next year. However, the society representatives said they are appealing for sponsorship towards the building of the centre. Moodley said due to the challenges faced, the community of Tongaat urgently requires a crisis care facility in line with the proposed safe house. Moodley added: “The safe house will represent a normal home environment that will allow the children to obtain a sense of belonging. “It will further enable supervised access to these children for professional intervention. “This also ensures that professional time is not squandered in the pursuit of interim safe-care placements whilst investigations are being conducted.”The safe house will be situated on the premises of the Tongaat Child and Family Welfare Society. Anyone who wants information or wants to assist can contact the society.