A Snapshot of the Issue:
Poverty, unemployment and addiction (especially in the light of the latest 'tik' epidemic) are causing welfare organisations to be swamped with cases of children in crisis. Places of safety are getting overwhelmed with the numbers and children are remaining in the homes for longer periods of time.
It is estimated by Safeline (a child abuse centre in Cape Town) that 1 in 3 South African girls are sexually abused before the age of 18. In February 2006 the Cape Times estimated that between 9% and 12% of our children will be AIDS orphans by 2015.
A child is considered to be in need of care for many reasons. This can be broadly divided into the following groups, though this list is by no means extensive:
- AIDS orphans
- Other orphans
- Abused or neglected children
- Abandoned children
- Children born as a result of rape given up for adoption
- Children born to very young or to poor mothers who choose to carry their baby to term and have them fostered / adopted rather than to abort
- Sick and handicapped children