Risk assessments of children in high risk circumstances
Services aim to assess children in possible high risk circumstances in order to protect their rights and enhance the quality of their lives. According to the Children’s Act the following circumstances describe children in need of care and protection:
In terms of section 150 of the Children’s Act 38/2005 a child is in need of care and protection if, the child-
- has been abandoned or orphaned and is without any visible means of support;
- displays behaviour which cannot be controlled by the parent or caregiver;
- lives or works on the streets or begs for a living;
- is addicted to a dependence-producing substance and is without any support to obtain treatment for such dependency;
- has been exploited or lives in circumstances that expose the child to exploitation;
- lives in or is exposed to circumstances which may seriously harm that child's physical, mental or social well-being;
- may be at risk if returned to the custody of the parent, guardian or care-giver of the child as there is reason to believe that he or she will live in or be exposed to circumstances which may seriously harm the physical, mental or social well-being of the child;
- is in a state of physical or mental neglect; or
- is being maltreated, abused, deliberately neglected or degraded by a parent, a care-giver, a person who has parental responsibilities and rights or a family member of the child or by a person under whose control the child is.
- Services include assisting parents to assess risks, compile a risk management plan and to implement protection measures to enable parents to act in the best interest of their children.
- When parents experience difficult circumstances and are not able to provide in the needs of their children Badisa Wynberg will assist the family to provide alternative care for children until parents are able to rehabilitate and resume care of their children.
- When parents have no insight in their destructive behaviour towards family life and children are in need of protection the designated social worker is mandated by the Department of Social Services to implement the children’s act and will remove the child and provide safe care options.
- If any lay person or professional person is of the opinion that a child’s safety is compromised that person is obliged in terms of section 110 of the children’s act to report it in the prescribed manner to Badisa Wynberg the designated social worker will request an affidavit from the reporter describing the circumstances of a child at risk in need of immediate protection.
- That person is entitled to anonymity and should request it specifically in writing from the designated social worker. The children’s act provides protection of prosecution when any person acts in the perceived best interest of a child.
- Protection services will include referral of clients to specialiced services rendered by trusted service providers.
- It will also include services with regards to enhancing parental skills, providing assistance to parents with children displaying challenging behaviour.
- These services include individual and group counselling sessions.
- Life skills programs to children in compromising life circumstances are available – these programs will provide and empower them with information and skills enhancing self-protection.