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.

501 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

    • Make an appointment with a Social Worker at the closest Welfare or CSC offices to you. They will be able to assist you with the process. On 23 Nov 2015 6:03 PM, “Foster Care in South Africa” wrote:


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