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.

433 Responses to Information Page

  1. Mpolokeng potsane says:

    Hi the forester parents are doing Great job but I like to know is it possible for my sister who stays with a forester parent to come and visit me because its almost 5years she’s wanted to visit me but her forester mom doesn’t want her to visit me she says she can come whn she’s finished school which wil b in 3years,I miss my sister and she cries to me all the time nd I don’t know what to do,my father used abuse us whn I left home,I hav a rdp house now I din’t hv a place to stay then whn my sister ws taken to forester but now tht woman says why do I want her to visit whn I didn’t want her thn which hurts bcuz I also left home in the same circumstance as my little sisi just tht I wasn’t lucky to find a proper home,now I hav a home and want my sista to visit me for holidays but we can’t spent time together my father ws abusing us I left home,and my little brother left school n went to lesotho where he’s in prison now,What should I do?plz contact the botshabelo social workers on my plz
    Kind regards

    • Good day. You should not be discussing the situation with the foster parent . Foster parents are only the ‘middle men’, and can not decide who should or shouldn’t visit with the child in their care. The correct channels to follow will be to make an appointment with and discuss possible visitation with your sister’s social worker.‎  She, in conjunction with her manager, are the persons that can make the decision. Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone. From: Foster Care in South AfricaSent: Sunday 7 December 2014 15:52To: helouiseS@gmail.comReply To: comment+rd8qzuo28ioz9a_1o-o3636t@comment.wordpress.comSubject: [Foster Care in South Africa] Comment: “Information Page”

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  2. Steve Maleka says:

    We are foster parents to an orphaned child. We have been screened and have a valid Court order. We have had the child for 8 years and she is now 15. We have our own children 26 and 22 respectively. The child’s aunt, who was young at the time, is now in a relatively better financial position and is interfering to an extent where she approached the social worker to have the child removed from us. The social worker, without a due process, has demanded that we come to the child welfare offices to sign a transfer order.
    What recourse/remedy is available? The administrative action is unlawful, unreasonable, procedurally unfair and no reasons are provided. Not even a visit from the social worker to present to us what the aunt may have fabricated as reasons she wanted the child. Is this allowed?

    • Unfortunately one of the main aims and obligations by law, of foster parents are to aid and work towards re-unification with the biological family. If the Social Worker approves of the re-unification we have to comply with their recommendations. Should you feel the aunt not capable of providing in the child’s needs, or have reason to believe that it will not be in child’s best interest to be re-unified with her biological family I recommend that if your financially able to, to appoint an attorney as soon as possible to oppose the decision. Alternatively you can contact the The Office of the Family Advocate to discuss the matter with them and hopefully secure a advocate to represent you. My heart aches for you, your family and the child. Our foster child is also being re-unified with her biological family after five years, and we were unable to prevent it.

  3. Elna Meyer says:

    Goeie dag ek soek raad asb!Ek het twee kinders in pleegsorg al vir drie jaar.Dinge werk nie uit nie!Hul het reguit vir my gese hul wil nie meer by my bly.Die welsyn werker sukkel ek al van Maart af om my te help.Hul se voor hul die kinders kan skuif moet al twee ouers in hof verskuin en dit bly net by dit!Se my net watse regte het n pleeg ouer?As jy nie meer die kinders in jou huis soek nie moet jy regtig wag dat al twee ouers in hof verskuin voor hul in kinderhuis of op ander plek geplaas kan word?Ek weet nie meer wat om te doen!Maak my lewe bitter.Gee my raad asb?

  4. Leila Moodley says:

    I need some advice urgently.. A few weeks ago my best friend passed away, leaving behind 3 children… The eldest boy is 19, and out of school already. The girl is 12, and the youngest boy is 8. I am the Godmother of these children, and I need information as to how to apply for guardianship of the 2 younger ones.. They live in Kimerley, and have been removed from their father’s care and placed in the Child Welfare Home in Barkly West. I live in Durban with my husband and we have 3 boys of our own, aged 14, 12 and 4.5… I am at home during the day, and my husband has a very good job. How long does the process take as I don’t want the babies to be alone for Christmas. Their late mother’s family also live here in Durban, so the little ones will be closer to their blood relatives also,, who have have offered me their full support… Please help. I promised to take care of them…

    • Contact the children’s Case Worker as soon as possible. Discuss the situation with her directly, as every case and case history is unique and will therefore require different approaches and waiting periods. Best wishes.

  5. Mosa Moremi says:

    What is the difference between cluster foster care and foster care and what are the requirements for cluster foster care?

    • A group home is a place where a group of children (maximum of 12) live under the constant supervision of various adult staff members.

      Foster care is where a child/ren (maximum of 6 ) live in the private home of approved foster parents.

  6. Nachy says:

    Dear Board

    My husband and i will be honored to become foster parents, this has been a long dream for both of us helping those in need!!* currently we have our own gorgeous princess she is 6 months of age!! We also live on a farm in Brits area ! The only thing im curios about is when does the child get to see their biological parents?? Does it have to be at my house or can we meet somewhere else ?? Also i am 21 years of age an my husband 24 years of age do we meet the age criteria ?? How can i become a foster parent?? Will i be able to choose a child or not?? Please can you give me more information!! Regards

    • The nature of Foster Care is the temporary care of children found to be need by the Children’s Court, until such a time they can be re-united with their biological parents or family. Monthly or even weekly visits are therefore part of the process. The visits take place at the CSC or Welfare offices – never at your home. Their is a detailed nationwide list of CSC offices on the information page of this blog, as well as a brochure on how to become foster parent.

  7. Melita says:

    I am a foster care giver to my adopted brother we moved to cape town in 2009 and stayed with my cousin who is a father to the child, my cousin took care of my adopted brother financially and otherwise. The child has serious behavioural problems and has been expelled from three different schools in three different provinces, cape town, free state and currently in gauteng which he has only been there for third and fourth term 2014, he is a danger to my family.I have been to social workers in Benoni and Daveyton for assistance with regard to his behavioural problems but was told there is nothing they can do to assist because I moved to cape town and they closed the file, this was done without my knowledge and I don’t understand why they didn’t send the file to cape town as they knew where we were and there are social workers this side also who could have taken over the case.I wanted the social workers to arrange for some kind of intervention or refer us to some kind of a school or programme that deals with children like my adopted brother, I wanted them to help me understand what the problem is with the child instead of them throwing him away like they are doing because they say he is no longer a foster child, then what is he?.. He has not been adopted by anyone except my mom who passed away in 2007 which is why I became his foster parent so it means he is a street kid. Please advice on what I must do next because they refuse to help and because of their actions I want to dissolve this whole foster care thing and want them to take him back I cannot live with him in the state that he is in. I don’t understand what’s the purpose of having social workers is if they can’t help in matters like this, shouldn’t the child come first? and it is clear he needs help and it’s help I am not qualified to give …..

    • €ŽHow old is he and in which suburb do you stay?

      • Melita says:

        He is 13 years old and staying in Daveyton with my sister

      • Which organisation deals with his case?

      • Melita says:

        Child welfare in benoni

      • Unfortunately I have no contacts at the Child Welfare. I will however discuss the situation with a private worker and ask for her advice.

      • Melita says:

        He is currently not enrolled in any school for this year because he was expelled from the one he was attending and I am worried I’m running out of time before school opens. If possible can you also get me contacts of “stout” schools otherwise he won’t be going to school this year.

      • I’ve spoken to the private social worker. She says you have to make an urgent appointment with a social worker from the department, closest to you, and discuss the situation with and insistent on receiving support and help from them. According to the children’s act they have to provide you with assistance. They also have to reopen his file. Do not give up until you have received help the help he needs.

      • Melita says:

        Thank you very much for your assistance I will not give up, do you perhaps know of any school’s for troubled children in gauteng and in the western cape.

      • Unfortunately not, and as far as I know foster children have to be referred to Correctional Schools such as Boys Town, by the Children’s Court.

  8. Kamogelo says:

    My husband passed away last July and left my mother in law with his 8 year old daughter. The child’s mother died four years ago. My mother in law needs to apply for a guardianship letter for this child, whats the procedure and where does she go for this?

    • Good day. Unfortunately I don’t know how to apply therefore. All I can suggest is that she makes an appointment with a social worker closest to where she stays, and discuss the situation with her.

  9. Marilyn says:

    We want to do the weekend & holiday fostering… We have a few children’s homes in the area, but I wanted to know first how this works….Would we be able to pick a child at the home we go to that we feel will fit in with our household and that is around the same age as our 4 year old or do they assign a child to us? Thank you.

  10. Albert Els says:

    My wife and I are willing to be foster parents.

    • Please read the information leaflet, and contact the closet CSC or Welfare offices to you.

    • carol says:

      I urgently need help, i need family to foster my two daughters. One is 2 years the other 2″ month. Please they are in danger

      • Good morning. Please make an urgent appointment with the closest CSC or Welfare offices to where you stay. A social worker will be the person to provide urgent help to both you and your precious children.There is a detailed list of Nationwide CSC offices on the Information page of this blog. God speed and protection. Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone. From: Foster Care in South Africa ‎Sent: Thursday 5 March 2015 07:11To: helouiseS@gmail.comReply To: comment+rd8qzuo28ioz9jm35relis3b@comment.wordpress.comSubject: [Foster Care in South Africa] Comment: “Information Page”

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      • Alternatively go directly to a Police Station. They will then contact a social worker on your behalf. Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone. From: Foster Care in South AfricaSent: Thursday 5 March 2015 07:11To: helouiseS@gmail.comReply To: comment+rd8qzuo28ioz9jm35relis3b@comment.wordpress.comSubject: [Foster Care in South Africa] Comment: “Information Page”

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  11. nkuleh says:

    I have a problem my sister doing grade 8 and my 5year old is in pre-school. I recently finish my matric i’m 19years we have survived 5years of emotional and mental abuse from this place we at the way we hate it its unbareable. I have changed no interest of life ever since my mom died 2010 we been living hell now i have finished school and waitng for second semester or any job that comes along i hate stayng but then i cant leave my sister in this nightmare all my cousins dont even wanna visit the way their treat them what should i do we dont even visit our other family because their feed us lies lord have mercy i stay in durban umlazi

    • Please urgently contact your closest CSC or Welfare offices and discuss all of your options with a social worker, who will be able to assist you. The Durban CSC offices contact details are: 031 7029220 or 031 4662110

  12. Boledi says:

    My husband and have been foster parents to is niece for the past 5 years. the girl was 9 when she started living with us. Now as a teenager she misbehaves and does not want to be reprimanded. She goes to an extent she loses some of her school items like shoes and bags. She also brings home clothes that have not been bought by us. now last week she wrote a note to say she does not want to live with us anymore.
    What do we do? Let go?

    • I’m sorry to hear about your heartache. Unresolved trauma (such as rejection, etc) causes children to misbehave. Unfortunately there isn’t much you can do if she has decided to request a removal from your care. Courts listen to children older than 12, and children older than 16 can not longer be forced to attend school. My advice is to let the social worker in charge of her case know of the situation, and ask her for her advice.

  13. Slindokuhle says:

    My story is bit complicated i need a foster agencie or foster parents

    • Contact the closest CSC or Welfare Offices to where you stay, and make an appointment with a Social worker to discuss your situation with her. €ŽThere is a detailed Nationwide list on the information page of this blog.

  14. thato says:

    Hi I’m raising my friend child whom she just ran away while the child was only 12month even today she have not returned and I have decided to adopt this child what should ido in order to adopt?

  15. leeandra says:

    Am looking for white family to foster my 2 month old daughter. But we are black

    • Please contact the closest CSC of Welfare offices to where you stay, and discuss the matter with a Social Worker, who will be able to inform you of all the options available to you. There is a detailed list of Nationwide CSC offices on the Information Page of this blog.

  16. Delene Louw says:

    I would like to get in touch with other foster parents who are fostering refugee children. I am a foster mother to a 14 year old refugee girl and would like to become part of a support group. Fostering a refugee child has it very unique challenges, specifically with regards to permits, grants etc. I would like to make contact with foster parents who are in a similar situation. I live in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town.

  17. sibongile says:

    im a student of social work this is my first year. just want to know which age a child can qualify or get foster care grant and why these children recieve this foster care grant

    • Good day. The foster care grant is not paid to the child but to the foster parents taking care of him/her. Foster parents can claim the grant only if the child is in their official foster care as sanctioned by the Children’s court, and can be claimed for children up and until 18 years of age. The foster grant is buy law, to be applied to provide for the day-to-day care of the foster child in the foster parents care.

      • delene2015 says:

        Good Morning, my foster child was placed in my care by Court Order at the beginning of 2014. I applied for a foster care grant at SASSA but it was rejected due to the fact that my foster child is a refugee child and has an Assylum Seeker Permit. I was never informed that this would be the situation, neither by the Social Worker from the Department of Social Services who did the foster care screening nor by the Children’s Home in whose care the child was for 7 years. I would still have taken my child, even if I knew that I wouldn’t get the grant, but the grant would have made things easier for us. Don’t you think that the Social Workers involved should have informed us accordingly during the screening process so that we could have prepared ourselves. I had to take 2 days off from work to wait in a line at SASSA to apply for the grant, which was really wasted time. Can someone give me more information about Refugee children in foster care and grants?

  18. pretty says:

    Pretty zwane
    Good day im currently raising my twin sisters daughter her mother passed away in 2001 and have been receiving a social grant only for her so I want t find is possible for me apply foster care grant as im the one whose taking care of her and currently im nt working please advise

    • Foster grants are paid per child in foster care. It is paid to the foster parent, to be used to help provide for the child’s needs. It is not a grand that is paid for the care of the foster parent as well. Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone. From: Foster Care in South AfricaSent: Thursday 12 March 2015 10:42To: helouiseS@gmail.comReply To: comment+rd8qzuo28ioz9e7dujs3zl3p@comment.wordpress.comSubject: [Foster Care in South Africa] Comment: “Information Page”

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  19. Tracey says:

    My husband and I are foster parents to a beautiful girl, she has been with us since she was 18 months old, she is now 7.. We would like to adopt but our social worker told us that the government no longer does this, so we would have to have it done privately, which can cost up to R 20 000..
    Is there any way you can help us?

    Thank you

    • Barbara says:

      Hi, we are in the same situation……….we have also had to go to a private social worker to do the adoption and at present have paid in excess of R12,000. I find it ridiculous that the government does not do this, surely it would be in their interest to have the children out of the foster system and adopted? It would save the government on Foster Grants………..

    • The Christian Social Council North: Child Centre also offers this service. Please contact Marietjie for further information at ‎0123442492 or 0123441291. Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone. From: Foster Care in South AfricaSent: Wednesday 18 March 2015 10:02To: helouiseS@gmail.comReply To: comment+rd8qzuo28ioz9ecdjxizg9ld@comment.wordpress.comSubject: [Foster Care in South Africa] Comment: “Information Page”

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  20. liz an Johan says:

    Good afternoon we are foster perants for CMR Middelburg MP of 3 kiddies 9 9 an 8 year olds they attend a private school here as we only have one school that has a SPO class an they are full. We will be wanting to move to Natal south coast but there are no afrikaans schools there with special class being foster children would they be allowed to do home school the 2 of 9 yrs old will be staying with us untill the age of 18 the little one could stand a chance of going back to his perants please I’m worried don’t want to do anything to harm these kiddies of ours they been with us for 8yrs now thank you Liz

    • Good day. I will find out and get back to you with a answer at the latest tomorrow afternoon. Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone. From: Foster Care in South AfricaSent: Thursday 19 March 2015 16:54To: helouiseS@gmail.comReply To: comment+rd8qzuo28ioz9e2xrcfot99t@comment.wordpress.comSubject: [Foster Care in South Africa] Comment: “Information Page”

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      • I apologise for only being able to get back to you today. You are allowed to home school your foster children, as long as the curriculum used is that of a Department of Education approved program. I obtained the aforementioned Information, this mornong, from the CSC North: Child Centre.

  21. Maris says:

    If a child is placed in foster care by the court and the biological mother abandoned the child 2 years ago,what will be the situation if the mother returns and wants the child back?

    • I will discuss the matter with a private social worker and get back to you, with her response. On 24 Mar 2015 15:28, “Foster Care in South Africa” wrote:


    • The child’s social worker will actually be the best person to discuss the situation with. Only she knows all of the facts and history surrounding the child and his/her biological family. But generally there is not much you as foster parents can do. The mother will be allowed to visit with the child, as this is her biological right. Whether the child will be re-unified with her is probably not the most likely of things, but there’s so many aspects to consider that I can’t give you a definite answer. Should the mother appoint an attorney to try advocate re-unification, you can also appoint one yourselves on the basis of abandonment.

  22. Irene says:

    I am staying in western Cape, helderberg. I want to start a home for kids I think they call it child and youth care centre.The idea is to have houses with foster and safety parents with no more than 6 children in each. I talked to department of social development who said that there is no need for more homes like that around western cape. Is that really true? Also thinking to have house for babies where they can be until they are adopted or found a new home. I thought the need of this was big in South Africa, it is good if it is not. But is it really true is there no need for this X is it true that the Department of social service is closing homes down? And if so what is the biggest need in the area regarding young children. I am asking because I would like to try to do something for them.

  23. Mapule Catherine Kosa says:

    Im the 1st born at home im 23 years old then I have two little sisters, age 21 and 15. We were staying with our grandmother’s sister until I moved out to further my studies aftr my bursary was approved. Our mother passed away in 2009 she was a teacher. My so called family went to claim our inheritance then my uncle opened bank accounts for us at standard bank then he took the cards, he said he’ll return the cards once the money is been sended, after several months we started to receive letters from UIF, Department of education, and other insurances, it was 4 letters. All that money we didn’t even saw a cent of it, he was no where to be found. My younger sister she’s a premature, she was schooling at Eureka at Vereeniging because of her condition, she’s a slow leaner now she’s been expelled from school cause we couldn’t afford her studying fees, I had to drop out of college so that I could help my grandmother because they are surviving through her pension and my little sister’s grand which is not enough. Our uncle said once our grandmother pass away he’s gonna kick us out of his mother’s house and im scared because we don’t have anywhere else to go, we lived there since we were young, is there anything I can do to get help?

  24. betty says:

    Hi..ive been looking after my younger brother since he was 1year 6months after my mom past away now he’s 6years so i want to know if its right if i can apply for fostercare for him?

    • Yes you can. However a Social worker has to investigate and appprove the placement of the child with you first. If approved she will give you a court date when you have to appear in the Children’s for the placement to be legalised as foster care. You will have to make an appointment with a social worker at the closest welfare offices to where you stay, to discuss the situation with her. On 31 Mar 2015 14:37, “Foster Care in South Africa” wrote:


  25. melanie koen says:

    My boyfriend is 29 was given up for adooption spent his life in children homes how do we find out why he was either removed or given up by parents he needs to know so that he can put it behind him and live his life. Who can help

  26. Good afternoon. Unfortunately this is blog on foster care and I have no contact with adoption agencies. My best advice would be for him to contact the last Children’s home he lived in and try to get the information from them, or ask them for advice on how to obtain the information.
    I wish you both all of the best on your roads ahead.

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