Child and Family Unit
The Child and Family Unit (CFU) is very often the first point of contact that a child has with Jo'burg Child Welfare (JCW) and on a daily basis this unit touches the lives of people that are faced with the realities of living at grass roots level. For many children, this unit represents a new beginning.
The CFU reception receives approximately 25-30 people a day, with enquiries ranging from grannies concerned about their grand children and young mothers wanting to give their newborn babies up for adoption, to SAPS members bringing in abandoned and lost children that they have removed from the street in Jo’burg’s inner city. Intake staff and social workers are specifically geared and trained towards making this process as painless as possible.
Three teams within the CFU are responsible for statutory work that involves assisting and where necessary referring children, parents and families to appropriate services.
Foster Care and Re-integration Department
JCW's Foster Care and Re-integration Department is responsible for the recruitment, screening and training of foster parents, as well as the supervision and monitoring of foster care placements. Re-integration services are rendered to biological parents of children in alternative care i.e. those in foster care or children’s homes. The monitoring and supervision of children who have been returned to the care of their parents is also undertaken for a period of two years.
Child Abuse Treatment and Training Services (CATTS)
The establishment of CATTS in 1990 was JCW's response to the alarming increase in children disclosing sexual abuse in the late 1980’s. At the time, existing social services were not effectively equipped to deal holistically with sexual abuse.
This unit has become widely recognised for its expertise in preventing, detecting and treating child sexual abuse. In addition, CATTS provides training to other service providers in issues related to child sexual abuse and child protection. The unit also runs group work sessions to deal with sexual offenders.
As the first unit of its kind in Gauteng, CATTS has played a key role in the establishment of best practice models and methodologies. In addition, CATTS was a key contributor to the Gauteng Multi Disciplinary Child Protection and Treatment Protocol of 2001 that serves as a guide to service providers when intervening in cases of child abuse.
Aganang Learning Centre
There is abundant evidence of the critical national shortage of social work skills. For example, to effectively implement South Africa’s Children’s Act 38 of 2005 alone South Africa requires a social worker workforce of 66 300 practitioners. The country only has 11 300 qualified social workers, many of whom are in private practice.
The establishment of Aganang Learning Centre in 2008 that focuses on the training of social auxiliary workers is Jo’burg Child Welfare’s (JCW) proactive response to the challenge. Run from JCW's head office, Aganang is staffed by a dedicated team that is intent on making an impact on the delivery of social services in the country. Full accreditation as a training service provider with the Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority ( HWSETA) was achieved in April 2009 .
The Aganang Learning Centre will continue developing and refining its best practice model through the training of social Auxiliary Workers for the profession generally and largely for the benefit of its associated Community Based Organisations.