Place of Safety: Helpful Advice

The phone rings and it’s your Social Worker asking if they can place an infant/ or young toddler with you in a Place of Safety, until they can find suitable Foster Parents. What now?  Your own children are already at school going age, and the required/age-appropriate Daily bottle feeding and sleeping Routines, are long gone from your memory!  Well, this is what this section of Foster Care in S.A. is all about. Please notify me should you as Safety Parent, need any additional information/advice that is not listed on this blog. ________________________________________________________________

50 Responses to Place of Safety: Helpful Advice

  1. Pamela says:

    hi there! we adopted a toddler that was put into our care through a parenting plan. We have now been approved as temporary safety parents, and a little one was placed with us 4 days again. We have now been told that we cannot be temporary safety parents as we are adoptive parents. I have done as much research as i can in the Childrens Act and there is nothing that stops us. What do we do. We have a love for children and will assist wherever we can. We did stipulate in court that we would never adopt or foster again, but would always be willing to assist with place of safety. Please help. We go back to court later this week, and I would like to know my rights as far as this goes.

    • Each case differ so much due to the diverse nature thereof. Unfortunately I don’t have insight into your court or social workers files, that may explain their reasons for not wanting to do temporary placements with you. It may be that your adopted child may be placed under undue fear and distress if other children continually come and go, or to the place of safety children that have to leave again……? What ever the reasons for the courts decision they will always be mindful of what is considerd to be “in the best intrest of a child” On 27 Jun 2016 17:07, “Foster Care in South Africa” wrote:


      • Mavis khosi says:

        Hi my name is khosi i’m also interested in fostering the abused babies and orphans so my problem is I don’t know we’re to apply for a being a forster parent and i also have a my kids and i’m a single parent but it’s my dream

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi There,

    I have a court order that is confusing me.
    On the first page it is ticked off children in need of care and protection.
    On the last page though it says children not in need of care but they are in my care how does this make sense and what does this even mean??
    Another ticked box it says children to stay in the care of the person in who’s care they are and has my name.

    What type of care is this? and how long is it for, is it permanent? Because I asked for as permanent as possible


  3. Isabel says:

    Good day!
    I notice that it has been sometime since there has been any post on this blog, so I am hoping that there will be some response.
    We have a little girl in SAFEKEEPING for 6 months. She has been with us for 2 months now. What are the visitation right in such a situation, because we are starting to get negative reaction from the parents and family?
    We were initially informed by the social worker that visitation is every second Saturday, no matter what. Now the biological family is kicking against this. The way the went off at me at her last visit really upset the little girl.

    • The Children’s Court in conjunction with the biological parents and social worker determine visitation. There’s no set rule regarding visitations as placements differ substantially. It is the responsibility of the social worker to discuss any problems or issues regarding visitations individually with yourselves and the biological parents. Never get involved in any disagreement or confrontation with them. If they start discussion it with you tell them that you are just in the middle, and that they should take the matter up with the Social worker. On 14 Dec 2015 9:30 AM, “Foster Care in South Africa” wrote:


  4. Chris says:

    I want a child named Xoliswa to be fostered by Rachel or I’ll use all my money to get him back

  5. Christine says:

    Hi we are applying to be a Place of Safety for kids ages 0 – 10, but we find that the process is extremely long and now as we thought we are at the end of it, we have to go for a phychometric test. Which is fine, but it is costing a lot of money and we have to pay it – is this normal procedure? and does it normally take so long – we handed our paper on middle April. Thanks

    • Good day. Yes, the application to become place of safety parents is exactly the same as to become foster parents. There is no set time limit for the process as it is influenced by various factors, and requirements.

  6. Jess says:

    Hi :) I am a mom of three and I would love to be involved in safety parenting, having seen its benefits first-hand (two of my children are adopted, and I did safe-care for a little boy going for adoption four years ago). I have found the details for the closest CSC office in my city and I want to make contact with them this week. The question that I have is if you are allowed to specify what age child you can take in for safe care? My children are currently 3, 5 and 8 and so I would prefer to do safe care for babies (under 1) at this time.

    Kind regards

  7. sharon says:

    good day,l have a very handsome colored baby and l love him dearly l want the best for him but l cant give him that because of unemployment where can l find foster mothers?

    • ‎I’m so sorry to hear about your difficult situation. Please contact the closest CSC or Welfare offices to you. There is a detailed nationwide list of CSC offices on the information page of this blog. From: Foster Care in South AfricaSent: Wednesday 4 March 2015 10:58To: helouiseS@gmail.comReply To: comment+rd8qzuo28d_gx09g_1x26cilod@comment.wordpress.comSubject: [Foster Care in South Africa] Comment: “Place of Safety: Helpful Advice”

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  8. sharon says:

    good day,l have a very handsome colored baby and l love him dearly l want the best for him but l can give him that because of unemployment where can l find foster mothers?

  9. Mary says:

    Hi there

    Thank you for your willingness to investigate my query. We are not able to have children of our own…

    Neither my husband nor I are ones to cause an upset for anyone. It is after all our wish that he be happy and loved… by anyone.

    We would just like to know our rights.

    Thanks again! Looking forward to hearing from you.

    • Good afternoon. Please send me the name and branch of the of the NPO (non-profit organization) involved. The private social worker I contacted, need it to supply the correct feedback.

      • I have contacted the WordPress administrators, and they informed me that no one else can unsubscribe you, and that it might take a while for your un-subscription to register. I apologize for any inconvenience caused. Please just keep on unsubscribing.

  10. Bernice Barnard says:

    Hi, I have a little boy of 2 years in my care, Place of Safety. He will be placed in my Foster Care any day now and I also do not have kids of my own. You should really speak to your Social Worker and advice her that she is making up her own rules.

    • Please let us not come to any rush conclusion. I have referred this query to a private social worker, and are waiting her reply. In the mean time – NPO’s each have their own rules as to the screaming criteria for prospective foster parents. Some of the reasons to not placing an infant in the care of a couple that do not have their own children, YET are able to naturally have their own are, might include: The waiting lists for infertile couples wanting to foster (that will never have the privilege of holding their own baby); Statistics has shown that in the event of such couples then having their own children after committing to fostering, they no longer want to foster the placed child or their relationship deteriorates; etc. They therefore prefer only placing children, after every “normal” – biological means have been explored, or if couples already had their own children. I’m NOT saying this is the case in all of the proposed scenarios, €Žbut they are the proven stats for a majority of the placements.

      The ‘foster screening social worker’ is most likely trying to take all possible outcomes, as well as the diverse background information of the child and parents into account.

      I will give proper feedback as soon as I have heard from her.

  11. Mary says:

    Hi there

    My husband and I were approached by a friend who fosters a little boy of 8 months old. She loves him dearly, but did not anticipate fostering for a long time, which now seems likely since the birth mother is an alcoholic. We then approached the NGO dealing with the foster placement, who informed us that we cannot foster him due to the fact that we do not have children of our own. I have spoken to a foster mom in CT, who informed me that she fostered a few children and did not have any of her own. Is it possible that a private NGO can set up requirements such as these?

    Please help, as we have already fallen in love with this little boy and would desperately like to foster him. We don’t want to upset anyone, but if it is legally possible, then we would like to pursue this avenue.

  12. Bernice Barnard says:

    I am a place of safety / Foster care parent for a 2 year old boy. It is the best thing that ever happened to me and I will not change it for anything.

  13. Susan Jacobs says:

    Hi, We have two grandsons that are desperately in need for fostering as from January 2015. We live in Canada and our daughter in Pretoria but cannot afford a bigger place to accommodate them. The father remarried and his wife does not want the boys (14 and 15 yrs old) live with them anymore because she is pregnant with their first child. What do we do at this side of the world? I would like to see our grandchildren go to good homes because this is a very difficult time in their lives.

    • Good afternoon. I have sympathy for your situation and can only imagine how helpless you must feel. However this is not the forum to ‘find’ foster parents for your grandchildren. ‎Your daughter should contact the closest CSC or Welfare offices to her, and discuss the situation and available options with them. There is a detailed Nationwide list of CSC offices on the Information Page of this blog. Kind regards. Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone. From: Foster Care in South AfricaSent: Sunday 9 November 2014 16:38To: helouiseS@gmail.comReply To: comment+rd8qzuo28d_gx09ia8oqso7uhd@comment.wordpress.comSubject: [Foster Care in South Africa] Comment: “Place of Safety: Helpful Advice”‎

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  14. Nicole says:

    Hi, thanks for all the information. In a comment thread, you said the welfare and CSC link would be at the bottom of the page, but I do not see it, can you please provide it? What is the general criteria for becoming a place of safety for abandoned abused or neglected children and where can I find it?

  15. worried sister says:

    Hi, i hope this is the right place to write my question,
    I have a sister who is a drug addict, we have been trying everything to help her getting clean, but she relapsed every time thusfar, the problem is she has a seven year old son,who’s daddy past away 4 years ago in a car accident.
    my sister is totally out of it and is not in a place of caring for her son.
    she has been on the drugs for about a year now, before that she was a fantastic mother.
    she obviously hid away her relapses until the truth comes out.
    she was engaged to be married, both of them got hooked on the drugs, her fiance came clean
    and due to her relapsing all the time the engagement was broken off in november 2013 when my sister moved out and ended up living with my mom and stepdad with her son.
    during the whole process of trying to get her clean, her son has been taken care of by either me or my mom,
    i am 26 years of age, i recently got married to my wonderfull husband that is 40 years of age.
    we are stable and love the Lord dearly.
    is there a way either me and my husband or my mom and stepdad can have her son placed in our care legally untill she gets clean?
    we dont want to loose her son,or see him with strangers or in a orphanage.
    we all love him so much and he is such a awesome child,

    please could you help?

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your sister and her sons situation. But I’m very grateful that you as a family are willing to step in and give her son the stability, care and love that he so desperately needs, without him losing his family roots. Please contact your closest Welfare or CSC offices (there’s a link at the bottom of the information page on this blog). Report the situation to a Social Worker and inform her that you want to apply to become his legal foster parents. May His purpose for all your lives be fulfilled.

      • worried sister says:

        Thank you so much, I appreciatte your time and advise.
        we have spoken to her and she asked us to please book her in at a christian rihabilitation centre when they open in january,she has been clean again for a little while now but she wants to go to a profesional place to help her to overcome this completely and help her to deal with the deeper isues ,as she desperatly want to get her life back in order.she asked that my parents to please take care of her son until she is healed and stable, she gets a montly income from her passed away husband and so she will still provide for her son financially, i will assist her in mannaging her finances. someone told us that this arrangement is illegal and that as soon as authorities find out her son is staying with my mom for the time being,they will take him away from our care.
        is this true? if her son gets the care and love he needs and she financially provides for him while she is at the rehibilitation centre, will this arrangement be problematic or does my mom have to become a legal foster parent?
        once again thank you for your advise

      • The reasons it is better to have family children in Foster Care is to protect the family and child from any accusations that the parent/s might make in anger should disputes arise.; and to qualify for the SASSA allowance and free school fees in government schools. No one can take the child away because the mother is in therapy, accept if the child is neglected or abused while in your care. May your sister find complete healing and your family be blessed for your desire to be there for her and her child when they needed you most.

  16. Charlotte says:

    Hi there, my husband and I are considering applying to become safety parents. We live in the Western Cape and I was hoping you might point me in the direction I need to go to apply?

    Thanking you in anticipation

  17. Cheri says:

    Dear Helouise
    I have been approached by a 18 year old orphan looking for a place to stay. As he is a friend of my nephew and I know him to be a decent boy, I took him into my home. Unfortunately, I am a single and unemployed, although I can accommodate him I cannot maintain him. He is a decent boy and deserve more than I can offer.
    Please advise what the process is of placing him with safety parents.
    Thanking you

    • Good afternoon.
      Unfortunately, after turning 18 years of age the law and Welfare System no longer view them as children but as adults.
      He will therefore no longer qualify to be protected under the Children’s act.
      Kind regards

      • Cheri says:

        Thank you for your response.
        That is very sad and unfair to this boy as he is still at school. Although his journey thusfar seems to have been tough, he has not turned to drugs, has no criminal record and is not a rude boy. Are there any programs offered or is there an NGO who will be able to assist?
        If possible, please communicate via my email address.
        Your assistance is appreciated.

  18. Bianca says:

    Hi I would like to know more about my rights as a place of safety parent as we had a boy in place of safety with us for nearly a year and we went for screening again for foster care and was succesful. The boy was an abbundant child and do not know where he comes from. Two days before the social worker removed him from my home she only said to us that all of a sudden that there is a family that would like to adopt him. She never even spoke to us about the option of adoption. Now I want to know what is our rights as place of safety parents. We would gladly want to adopt this child as he has already settled in as one of our children. When we confronted the social worker about not informing us about her decision she had a lot o excuses. The foster care placement court case will only be finalized the end of August. Please if you can give me details of a site were I can search for rights of a place of safety parent etc.

    Kind regards,

    • Hi Bianca.
      I’m so sorry for what you have to go thru. Unfortunately Place of Safety parents doesn’t have any rights in keeping a child/ren placed in their temporary care. You can apply to have them placed in your Foster Care, but you have no rights concerning the final decision making.
      May things work out in the best interest of the child, and may you find peace.
      Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom – let your email find you!

  19. Rene says:

    General question: Must one legally foster a pre-school child who you feel is neglegted/unwanted in its parents’ care before letting the child live with you on a permanent basis with the verbal consent of the parents, providing the parents have unlimited access to the child in both your home and theirs? Especially if the child has bonded with you as you provide him with a happy, loving, safe and secure home environment? Must the child be placed in a “children’s home” first? Must you earn a certain income in order to do so? What are the legal implications for the child, “foster parents” and biological parents?

    • Sjoe! I have answered each question separately:

      1. It is NEVER a good idea to foster a child WITHOUT following the legal channels, because: a) Only the Children’s Court are qualified to determine if a child is found to be ‘needy’, which is a pre-requisition for the lawful removal of said child from his/her biological parents. b) By obtaining a court ordered foster placement the biological parents will be appointed a Social Worker to work with them to ‘rehabilitate’ to become proper caregivers for their child/ren. c) The foster parents will be protected from frequent disruptions and ‘harassments’ from the biological parents, when the COURT DECIDES on a proper visitation program with the parents, at the OFFICES of the appointed Welfare offices (NOT at your home). d) The appointed foster parents will be entitled to claim a monthly grant of approx. R850. e) The foster child will also be appointed a Social Worker to protect his/her interests during the foster placement. f) ‘PRIVATE’ foster placement almost always end up in the biological parents reporting their children as having been kidnapped by the ‘foster parents’ when things don’t go their way.

      2. The first step to get a child known to you into your foster care, will be to immediately contact a Social Worker in your are to report the situation of neglect/abuse or molestation. They will then investigate the reported case asap, and determine if their is grounds to proceed. Should they decide to proceed you must make your intentions clear that you want to apply to become his/her legal foster parents, and explain the grounds of wanting to do so (having a bond with the child etc.).

      3. Children are only placed in children’s homes as a last resort.

      4. Income is determined as to your ability to provide for the day-to-day care of your existing family, plus the potential financial demand of another child, but is not the most important decision maker in foster placement.

      5. Legally Foster parents are awarded the day-to-day care, decision making, and educations of the child, by the Children’s Court. The biological parents keep the right to regular pre-approved visitation with their child (usually 1 hour per month at the Welfare Offices), and the legal right of being the child’s parents. They also keep the right to approve or not approve the child be given general anaesthetics.

      Hope this answers your ‘general question’. Take care.

  20. S. Botes says:

    S. Botes

    I would like to know if single members can be considered to become safety parents? I am 35 years old and have no children of my own and resides in Pretoria.

    • Helouise Steenkamp says:

      Dear Sonika. Thank you for your inquiry.
      According to the South African constitution no discrimination is allowed to be made against any marital status or sexual orientation of prospective place of safety/ or foster parents. However due to the unique demands of place of safety parents, I feel to just give you a short description of what the function and actual demands of an approved place of safety (safety parents care) are. Children that have to immediately be removed from dangerous situations to protect them against serious abuse, neglect, rejection, assault – are removed and placed into the short term substitute care of an approved place of safety (safety parents). The children will remain in substitute care while the required Children’s Court investigation are underway. During this investigation the alleged accusations are investigated and the biological parents/care givers assessed and provided with therapy. This process can last any where from 1 week to 6 months, depending on each case’s unique circumstances. The sudden removal from everything they have known to be their ‘home’ cause them to be traumatized and in a state of shock; anger and aggression may also present itself. Children placed into an place of safety, are usually very neglected and have big developmental delays. A major function of the place of safety/safety parents therefore also include taking the children for intensive medical and emotional therapy, evaluation and treatment. It requires commitment, and need orientated attention to help the children undergo assessment and therapy, while at the same time providing emotional security for them. In conclusion: It is an emotionally and financially demanding and time consuming task, but very rewarding to see these children starting their healing process. If you feel you will be able to deal with all the demands associated with becoming a place of safety provider, then please contact your closest CSC Office (listed at the bottom of the information page). I hope that this information has been helpful. Kind regards.

  21. Emm says:

    Hi , how do we become Safety Parents and who can we contact ?

    • Helouise Steenkamp says:

      Thank you for your inquiry.
      As mentioned on the Foster care blog, there is such a desperate need for Safety and Foster Parents. Although Safety Parenting comes with its own set of challenges, we found it extremely rewarding!. Every day you have the opportunity to hold and unconditionally love one of these broken children, is a positive brick built into their lives that no one can ever take away!
      We started off as Safety Parents with the Christian Social Council in PTA – Tel: (012) 344-1291 (office hours). The screening method is the same as used to approve Foster Parents.
      1. The first step will be to establish the feeding area you live in. You will have to phone the CSC at the above listed number, and they will be able to assist you with the details.
      2. If you fall within one of their areas they will make an appointment to come and meet you and your partner, to discuss the implications of becoming Safety Parents to you in detail. And to obtain the application document required to start the official process. It usually will all happen within a week!
      3. If they don’t have offices near you, they will be able to re-direct you to the appropriate council. Here’s where it becomes a bit tricky, as each different social/welfare council has its own set of requirements etc. That’s why we strongly recommend the CSC as we found them the most balanced out of all.
      May your journey lead you to meet the fire that has been stirred within your hearts for these broken and desperate children, longing for love and acceptance.

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