The organisation has a strong family preservation philosophy offering services aimed at keeping children with their biological families where possible. Family care is the first choice for all children, however when this is not possible, foster care should be considered as the first option of choice. Foster care provides the child with protection and suitable care in the absence of his/her biological parent(s) or their inability to provide a conducive environment. All children under 6 years of age should be placed with families wherever possible as opposed to being placed deeper into the system. Foster Care is thus identified as one of the least restrictive and most empowering interventions that can be used to prevent children from entering deeper into the system.
Foster care is aimed at promoting a positive outcome for all children identified as being at risk as well as to their families for whom foster care is identified as a targeted service. It highlights the need for attention to the child’s developmental needs, permanency planning, support to families at risk and the recognition of the paramount relationship between the child and his/her family.
The Organization, despite making all efforts to offer children in need of care substitute family care may often be forced to consider residential care i.e. placement in a Child and Youth Care Facility. These children are often over 6 years of age and do not have traceable parents or relatives. During weekends and school vacation periods, these children are forced to remain at the Child and Youth Care Facility while their peers are visiting families. These children unfortunately are deprived of the joys and comfort of being part of a family and the enriching experience that is needed for their development. It is during these times that the Organization looks out for host families who may be able to accommodate a child.
Individuals and families who may be keen on offering a child a loving and family home environment for a short period of time may contact us. They will be screened to determine their suitability and their home environment will also be assessed. At present all requests for hosting is dealt with by our Residential Facilities. Should a family be found suitable the Social Worker rendering services to that particular child will by statutory requirement complete a Leave of Absence request to Department of Social Development recommending that the child be allowed to spend a stipulated period of time with the family? While the child is with the host family, he/she will be monitored. The host family will be expected to provide verbal feedback on the holiday placement. Should a family continue to host the same child over a period of time, the Organization may have an expectation that the family may consider fostering the child.