Information Page

The Urgent need for Foster Parents

In South Africa thousands of children are in desperate need of loCopy Right Protectving care in a stable family environment. These children have been removed from their family due to sexual, physical, or psychological abuse, as well as neglect. They are in urgent need of becoming a part of a family where they can be loved and nurtured. Sadly, there’s a critical shortage of loving, secure homes that will unconditionally commit to making a difference in the lives of these hurting children.  As a Foster Parent you can offer these children a brighter future and the opportunity to achieve their full potential in life. CSC North – Foster Care Information Booklet


Foster care is not the same as legally adopting a child. “Foster care is the placement of a child, who needs to be removed from the parental home, into the custody of a suitable family or person willing to be foster parents. This is done by order of the Children’s Court.” Children can be removed from the custody of their biological parents if they are abused, neglected or abandoned. In South Africa, poverty contributes to abuse, neglect and abandonment, but these issues are not limited to poor communities.

The Benefits of becoming a Foster Parent

As a foster parent, you will experience many challenges and some difficult days – but most parents find that the joy of seeing their foster children push through their own pain and anger far outweighs it. As your foster child moves through their own difficult emotions, he will look to you for love and support, and become more and more a part of your family. Many foster parents are still “home base” to the children they fostered, and welcome them back home for holidays and summer vacations even after they’ve reached adulthood.


Prospective foster parents are screened by welfare organizations to ensure they are suitable to take on the responsibility of caring for a child. The factors taken into account when screening applicants include:  The age of the prospective foster parents; The health of the prospective foster parents; The family composition and income; etc. Although foster placement is temporary in nature, the screening process is taken seriously and always in the best interests of the child. Prospective foster parents will also be interviewed about their views on raising children and education, their attitude towards the biological parents, and their motivation to foster a child who is not their own. Religious and cultural factors are also taken into consideration, factors which may have considerable implications in a country made up of diverse ethnic groups.

Responsibilities of Foster Parents

South Africa has a current shortage of social workers. Nevertheless, social workers are responsible for the supervision of foster parents, which usually takes the form of annual house visits, unless there are problems related to the placement. The obligations of foster parents include: Giving proper maintenance and care to the child; and Granting reasonable access to the child’s biological parents. In South Africa, foster parents are permitted to discipline a child in their custody. They are not permitted to deal with any property belonging to the child (that the child has brought into the household or received as a gift from the biological parents), consent to the marriage of the child or to a medical procedure that may endanger the child’s life. And a foster child is not allowed to be taken out of South Africa without prior authorization.

Applying to be a Foster Parent

Prospective foster parents should contact the Department of Social Development or Christian Social Council offices in their area (see list below for contact information).  After contacthas been made, a screening process with a social worker and a house visitation will follow.  Foster parents will then be summoned to appear before the Children’s Court, where the social worker will recommend that a child be placed with the suitable foster parents who have already undergone the screening process.

Should you be interested in becoming Foster Parents, please click on this link to access a List with Contact details, of Christian Social Council Offices, in your area.

522 Responses to Information Page

  1. Christelle says:

    Good day, I was hoping that you could assist me with some advice… I have read through almost all the posts and I have a fling that I might not like what I am going to hear. I have a little boy that has been in my care since he has been one day old. He is now 1 month and a week old. We had an arrangement with the parents that he would stay with us and we even made it official by going to court. Both parents are addicts and are not in anyway able to support him at this stage. We contacted the Grandma and she also said that she is not willing to take him. The mom also has two other kids that were removed. All of a sudden she wants him back and has convinced her father to request to take him into Foster care. I know it has only been a month and I know that law states that the parent and chid should be reconciled. The mother is not working and is currently living with her father. He is a long distance truck driver but has been re-married. When they needed someone to take in her other to children to prevent them from being removed her father was not willing to help her. Now they want him back but not the other two kids. What are the chances that the grandfathers foster care application can be approved and the little boy removed from our care? Will the mom be allowed to stay with the grandfather if the child is removed from us and placed in our care? I have spoken to the welfare and they just said that unfortunately they cannot discuss anything with us at this stage. Our life’s are shattered just at the thought that he might go away just so that the person that did not really care about him while he was in her tummy can have another chance. She was abusing substances until the morning before he was born. Apologies for me venting but we do not want to loose this little boy just because the mother cannot see that she is once again standing in his way of having a future with someone that really cares and that really wants to make an effort for him to succeed in life.

    • I’m sorry that I can not give you the answer and assurance that you need. Unfortunately foster parents doesn’t have a lot of rights. The Children’s Court will always aim to support and re-establish the original family unit, if at all possible to do so. But they do also take into account whom the child has formed a strong attachment with. Whatever the outcome you just commit to being there completely for this little boy as long as he is entrusted to you. Strongs! On 08 Nov 2015 7:02 PM, “Foster Care in South Africa” wrote:


    • ronelle says:

      Oh Christelle my husband an I are in the same position here I thought we were alone we raised a little boy since he was 7weeks an his 1 year an 5months an we have in contact with the social workers since he was 2months now the family all wants to be involved an a part of his life never cared for him can’t evens provide went to court the court case was kicked out they need more evidence to prove the child can’t stay wit his family, the Law has already failed this child. Which area are you in feel free to contact me, then I will at least give some guidance. All the best its not easy at all, all we want is a stable environment for these children an the law reunites these kids with ther family no matter how the family abuses these kids. I pray with you an you pray with me. I await your response.

  2. Riana says:

    raad nodig vir n pa wie se kind in pleegsorg geplaas is en nou druk die pleeg ouers die pa vir GELD vir verskeie “redes” ,,, Die kind was by sy ma en nuwe man wat hom mishandel het toe die pa dit agterkom en raad wou he oor hoe om die situasie te hanteer het die Man se pa en “VROU” wat reeds getroud is met iemand anders de kind gevat en aansoek gedoen om pleegsorg ,,,,sonder dat die Pa n “se” het ,,,,,nou wil die pleegouers geld he vir verskeie redes en as hy nie gee nie weier hulle dat hy sy kind sien …..HELP

    • Indien die plasing wel wetlik deur die Kinderhof toegestaan is, kwalifiseer die pleegouer vir SASSA pleegtoelae van ongeveer R850 per maand. Die pleegsorgbevel kan entwer ook daaruit bestaan dat die biologiese ouers maandelikse finansiële bydraes moet maak, met seker doelwitte daaraan verbonde. MAAR dit is een van die bioligiese ouers se regte om redelike toegang tot hulle kinders te hê en NET die Kinderhof het die gesag om besoeke te weerhou, nie pleegouers nie. Hy moet ‘n afspraak met die toesighoudende maatskaplike werker maak en die situasie met haar bespreek.

      Helouise Steenkamp On 10 Nov 2015 9:38 PM, “Foster Care in South Africa” wrote:


  3. katleho says:

    i would like to foster a 2weeks baby boy
    i live in bloemfontein i work as a nurse

  4. Prisca says:


    I’m 22 years old baby mother and my son is 19 months old

    I can’t look after him I don’t have a family I’m staying with my sister and my son

    I have to finish the school so that I can apply for the job and work for him

    Is it possible for me to get the foster parent? ??

    Thanks in advance

  5. Amar says:

    Hi, this is not a foster related question. I would like to know. I want to start a childrens home in the Northern Cape but want children from Gauteng. I went to a orphanage in Pretoria once and the children were crowded in a small space. In my hometown in the NC there will be so much space to play and run around. Will the court give me children from Gauteng to raise in another province?

  6. VUYOKAZI says:

    can a teenager who is 22years old be helped due to abuse with his aunt and grandmother he left school because he was a slow learner he was not motivated since then his mother left him when he was too young now he was kicked out of his house what can we do to assist that child he is humble child love to help in a community

  7. VUYOKAZI says:

    can a teenager who is 22years old be helped due to abuse with his aunt and grandmother he left school because he was a slow learner he was not motivated since then his mother left him when he was too young now he was kicked out of his house what can we do to assist that child he is humble child love to help in a community his mother passed away when he get pieces job they love him when he don’t have money they start to treat him bad

  8. david says:

    Good day, I was fostered and am now 45 years old. How can I get my file from child welfare because they don’t want to give it to me? Regards David. 0824412927

    • Good evening Dawid. I apologise but have not been able to obtain the correct information for you, due to the festive time of year delays. I will only be able to give you an informed answer in January 2016. Please be patient and accept my apology for the delay. On 21 Dec 2015 5:30 AM, “Foster Care in South Africa” wrote:


    • Good day David. I have received the information you inquired about, and I must say it does seem very unfair to me, but here goes. You are allowed to view your file at the relevant welfare institution that oversaw your placement, but you are nog allowed to remove it from their offices. As yours was not an adoption case it may be that the file has already been destroyed. Each institution has it’s own policies pertaining to the length of time they keep closed foster files. On 21 Dec 2015 5:30 AM, “Foster Care in South Africa” wrote:


  9. Sharon says:

    Hi helouse I would like to know if someone doesn’t want a baby can she go to csc offices en leave the child there instead of dumping him.

  10. Marlize says:


    My husband passed away a year ago, during the morning period my sister said just for the time being while i get back on my feet she will look after my child. When in Feb last year i went to get my child she said the social welfare approached her and placed my child in her care, as i was emotionally unstable, when i approached the social worker in question she said yes. please note she never approached me, signed anything or even discussed this with me. Anyway my sister then started to restrict my access to my child and in sept i got a phone call from her social worker to appear in court. my child was placed in foster care with my sister. The report that was handed in about me i never saw or received in advance i was given no warning or chance to even try and defend myself. at the hearing i was told by social worker that if i dont agree to the foster placement my child will be sent to an orphanage. Please help i cant see my child. I now have the report and its really really full of lies. She describes my 3 bedroom house as a 4 bedroom house. Myself as an abusive person, but nothing about the fact that i am emotionally unstable as was the reason given prior to me.

    What can I do?

  11. Deli says:

    Hi All,

    I need advise, my mom is 48 year old alcoholic and has a daughter who is 5 years old. I am having an issue with the little girls father, he doesn’t want the child to get a proper education he keeps sending her to a no good nursery school. I am working and able to take care of the little girl on my own financially. I have found a decent and proper pre school for her and offered to take care of her fees and general well being.
    I am just afraid that the father will fight me legally and i might loose this battle and the child’s future will be doomed.

    I am not sure if i should go to social services as i dont want my mom to get into trouble with the law because of alcohol abuse and the child gets taken away from all of us.

    Will child welfare give me foster care to the child if i have a valid argument and can prove that i genuinely have the child’s interest at heart.

    Thank you

  12. Monty says:

    Hello all please can I get some assistant my wife and I have been fostering a little girl from age of 2 month’s we have been giving mother chance to see the child but she is so afraid that she cries andwets herself when this now happens iI am afraid that this is now affecting my little one as she is having nite mares at nite she is now 5 year’s old and her biological mother wants to take her back is there any rights that I have as court has granted foster care until she is 18 year’s old please can u assist me or advise on someone that I can go and see and talk to asap I cannot see our lives with out this precious gift it will break us destroy us thank u

    • Unfortunately we as foster parents can only give feedback to the case worker, who will have to refer her for assessment and further therapy. We are not allowed to withhold visitations ourselves, but the case worker in conjunction with the therapist and children’s court can after proper investigation into her behaviour.

  13. mercy says:

    How long does it take social workers to do all paper work..yesterday we went in a group home where the cute little we want to foster is staying,n we talked with social workers but now we really can’t wait for her to come n be part of our family..

    • As each case is unique there is no set time period. Just make sure all your paperwork are up to date, and allow the system to follow it’s course. On 15 Jan 2016 3:20 PM, “Foster Care in South Africa” wrote:


  14. Mandisa says:

    Good day

    My name is Mandisa Hlongwane I’m 30years old and a single mum to 3 kids. I’m in dire need of a safe place to leave them so I can go back to school. I’ve had to stay with them since my eldest was born as my family life is riveted by alcohol abuse. My father has been an alcoholic since the day I met him when he came to live with us in my mothers home when I was 12 and life changed drastically. We’ve endured all sorts of abuse at his hands and it has slowly filtered down to my kids. He hits them whenever I’m not around and pics on them constantly. They are now scared to be home when I’m not there. My eldest who was a top five student in her grade has dropped significantly.. I’m scared she’s slowly becoming me when I was her age due to what’s happening around her. Despite the odds they’re very good kids and I’ve raised them well with firm Christian values. I need a chance to go study for them so I can give them a safe peaceful home. It will only be for this year (2016) while I upgrade my grade 12. Next year I’ll be able to get our church bursary and I’ll work hard to get a bursary in AgriBusiness Management so I won’t have issues with study fees. Our church also assists tertiary students with rent/resident fees which means I’ll be able to get us a place to stay. Please help me get my life on track.

    • Contact the closest CSC ore Welfare Offices to you, and make an urgent appointment to see a Social Worker. She will be able to assist you. On 21 Jan 2016 9:52 AM, “Foster Care in South Africa” wrote:


  15. Bibi says:

    Good day wonder if you could give me some advice please I have a little boy of 8yrs old in our foster care he has a conical sickness has a stoma bag been with us since 2yrs old. Cmr has been helping us financial for a few yrs Father give R300 pm as per court order but the Cmr can no longer help fiancial as we have to traval from Mp to pta drs steve Biko, at times we have to stay there when he has to have opperation ( has had 16 ) what I would like to know is it the foster perants are responsabile for all cost. Thank you regards Bibi

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