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A video clip was recently circulated on social media depicting alleged neglect of small children. The community member who raised the alarm, and brought the case to the Department’s attention, feared for the safety and wellbeing of the children.

A social worker from the Metro South region has been dispatched and a home visit conducted, safety and risk assessments conducted, and the children have been temporarily placed in a place of safety while the investigation continues.

Over the 2018/2019 financial year, 23 054 families in the Western cape were recorded accessing ‘developmental social welfare services’ that strengthens families and communities. Furthermore, 10 580 is the number of children and families in the Province who accessed ‘care and protection services’ over the same period.

Our ‘care and protection services’ are aimed at safeguarding and promoting children’s well-being and building resilience of families and communities to care for and protect their children. Whereas, our ‘developmental social welfare services’ which focusses on improving parenting skills and develop their resilience so that they can care for and protect themselves and their children.

“We need to work together to ensure that our children are safe and kept out of harm’s way,” says Minister Sharna Fernandez.

“The protection of children, a key priority area for the Department of Social Development, is something that must be driven all year round and requires action from the whole of society. All of us need to be doing far more to prevent cases of child abuse, neglect and murders,” says Fernandez.

“We urge anyone who has information on instances in which they are aware of children being victims of abuse and other forms of violence to come forward and report it to the Department and or designated NPOs and we discourage the circulation of images of children being used to create awareness or sensation in order to protect the interest of the children involved .”

Furthermore, “We thank those citizens who take action when they suspect abuse.”

Should you suspect any incidences of child abuse, report it by contacting:

· Western Cape Department of Social Development: 0800 220 250

· Email: SD.CustomerCare@westerncape.gov.za

· Police: 10111

· Childline: 0861 322 322

· Child Welfare SA: 0861 424 453

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