Child Welfare South Africa Roodepoort (CWSAR) is appealing to the community to come forward to be screened as foster parents.”We have a shortage of homes where abused and traumatised children can be safe and develop to full capacity. This is where foster parents, who will be willing to welcome a child into their family and love them unconditionally, come in,” said Estelle Odendaal, the CWSAR manager.
She added that, in addition to certain requirements that need to be met by prospective foster parents, the community should also know that it is not a permanent arrangement. “Foster care is not permanent and foster parents do not have the option to adopt the children at a later stage. One of the requirements is that the children, where possible, should have contact with their biological parents. The court order could, after the two-year time period, be extended, until the social worker is comfortable that the parents’ situation has changed enough for the children to return to them,” she explained.
Estelle said that foster care should not be confused with adoption, as they do not handle adoptions, but they will refer those who are interested in adoption to private social workers who specialise in that area.
“When you want to become a foster parent, you should keep in mind that children who are removed from their parents or families are traumatised and will present emotional insecurity and low self-esteem. There will also be some behaviourial issues, which are quite understandable if you take their circumstances into consideration. Some children did not receive love and acceptance from their parents, and have experienced rejection over and over, as they travelled from one family member to another. It is our responsibility to ensure the cycle of rejection stops at foster care placement,” said Estelle.
To become a foster parent, you need to comply with the following requirements:
• Live in the Roodepoort area (as this is the area we operate from).
• Accept the fact that it may take a while before the Foster Care Grant is paid out. Foster Care is not a quick money-making scheme, it is an act of love with the goal of protecting and nurturing a child in need.
• Interested families must talk to each other to ensure that all family members are willing to love and accept another child – this includes the biological children of the foster parents.
• If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, you should email the identity documents of both parents, physical address and contact numbers to [email protected], to enable a social worker to contact you.
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