DSD and orphanage in a battle for children

2019-06-18 06:00

Al-Noor Orphanage Centre in Woodstock has come forward to comment on the saga surrounding the centre since the Department of Social Development removed 16 children from the home on Monday 10 June.

After a preliminary investigation into a number of serious complaints of alleged physical and sexual abuse, the department removed children from the centre and, placed them in other child and youth centres. In a statement, the orphanage said the department failed “dismally” to inform the children about the process of their removal and the children were forced to take all their belongings with them.

“That process was not child-friendly, thus not in the interest of the children and violating and traumatising the children,” read the statement. The home claimed it was not given a notice for the removal. “The management of Al-Noor made several attempts to communicate with the department with regards to a plan of action and to urge that due processes be followed,” read a statement. “The system and processes employed by the department were indeed unfair of the children or their well-being.”

The statement continued that the department promised to communicate with the home, but continued to “forward the misleading information to the media houses without even meeting the home”.

After the removal, the department said in a statement that the children were receiving the necessary support; which includes assessment and counselling.

“Due to the seriousness of the allegations, involving a number of children at the home, the department has deemed it necessary to remove and place the children in temporary alternative accommodation in terms of section 173 of the Children’s Act to ensure their safety while criminal investigations are underway,” the statement read.


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