Safety parents needed

2019-06-18 06:01

As Child Protection Week comes to an end, provincial social development minister Sharna Fernandez is calling on residents to become safety parents.

In doing so, residents will become more involved in ensuring children’s safety 365 days a year. A safety parent acts as a temporary safe care placement for a child who is reported to be in need of emergency protection.

After careful assessment, the child can be safely accommodated, pending a decision or court order concerning the placement of the child.

While the department recognises the family – which includes extended family – as the best place for a child to flourish and develop, there are instances where the child’s best interests is the immediate removal from their homes.

In these cases, children may be placed with non-related safety parents.

There are currently 446 registered safety parents in the province and the department urgently needs to grow its database to ensure that they expand the safety net for vulnerable children. “The protection of children needs the whole of society to become involved in any way that they can. This is one way those who are eligible, can help vulnerable children,” says Fernandez.

Compulsory screening

Applicants are carefully screened to determine if they are suitable to care for children. Once approved, the safety parents will receive training about the Children’s Act, as well as how to care for vulnerable children who may have experienced trauma.

Due to the nature of the emergency placements, prospective safety parents should be available at short notice.

Those interested in signing up can contact their nearest department of social development (DSD) local office for more information about the process, requirements, and forms needed, or by contacting the DSD hotline 0800 220 250.

Applicants will need to undergo an evaluation process that will include:

. clearance on the criminal offences database for all the individuals residing on the premises of the applicant(s);

. consultation with a social worker;

. attendance of a training course to qualify as a safety parent.

Fernandez says under her leadership the department of social development will continue to join forces with civil society, non-profit organisations (NPOs) and various communities to ensure the safety and well-being of children.

She thanked all those citizens, including registered safety parents and other volunteers, for their work and commitment in keeping children safe.


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.