Child Wel­fa­re back on track

Suid-Kaap FORUM - - News - My­ron Ra­bi­no­witz

SOUTH CA­PE "The le­vel of ser­vi­ce de­li­very at cer­tain child wel­fa­re bran­ches in the Sout­hern Ca­pe t­hat ha­ve been com­pro­mi­sed sin­ce Oc­to­ber last y­e­ar is o­ver," said Ge­o­reen van Rens­burg (Pro­vin­ci­al Ma­na­ger: Child Wel­fa­re We­stern Ca­pe).

"As from Sa­tur­day 1 Ju­ly the Child Wel­fa­re We­stern Ca­pe Bo­ard has ta­ken back con­t­rol of the pro­vin­ce’s fi­nan­ces de­a­ling di­rect­ly with the De­part­ment of So­ci­al De­ve­lop­ment (DSD). The We­stern Ca­pe ho­we­ver still re­mains af­fi­li­a­ted to Child Wel­fa­re South A­fri­ca (CWSA)."

At a na­ti­o­nal le­vel CWSA has di­re fi­nan­ci­al pro­blems, due to mis­ma­na­ge­ment, the im­pro­per use of funds re­cei­ved from DSD and in­fig­hting be­t­ween the na­ti­o­nal bo­ard and ma­na­ge­ment. From Oc­to­ber 2016 staff sa­la­ries at the We­stern Ca­pe re­gi­o­nal of­fi­ce in Bell­vil­le we­re paid er­ra­ti­cal­ly and w­hen sa­la­ries we­re paid the staff on­ly re­cei­ved a por­ti­on of their sa­la­ries. The a­rea man­gers who ser­vi­ce the smal­ler CWSA bran­ches al­so re­cei­ved ir­re­gu­lar sa­la­ry pay­ments.

Mercia Co­le, CWSA Sout­hern Ca­pe A­rea Ma­na­ger who ser­vi­ces the Sout­hern Ca­pe bran­ches from Hei­del­berg in the e­ast to P­let­ten­berg Bay in the west, as well as the Litt­le Ka­roo said: "It has been a very tax­ing pe­ri­od for us as we ne­ver had mo­ney for pe­trol and with te­lep­ho­ne li­nes cut due to non-pay­ment a­rea ma­na­gers we­ren’t a­ble to con­duct the o­bli­ga­to­ry branch in­specti­ons. The bran­ches them­sel­ves we­ren't as bad­ly ef­fected as their DSD sub­si­dies we­re paid di­rect­ly in­to the lo­cal Child Wel­fa­re bank ac­counts.”

Van Rens­burg, who co­mes from Mos­sel Bay ex­plai­ned: “As from 1 Ju­ly, Child Wel­fa­re We­stern Ca­pe (CWWC) has been re­cog­ni­sed by DSD as being a se­pa­ra­te en­ti­ty and will be ma­na­ged in­de­pen­dent­ly of the na­ti­o­nal bo­ard. CWWC will now be pay­ed di­rect­ly by DSD and will be ad­mi­nis­tra­ted and ma­na­ged from Bell­vil­le. I’m look­ing for­ward to the new dis­pen­sa­ti­on (in the past the We­stern Ca­pe was independent but was coer­ced in­to joi­ning the na­ti­o­nal bo­ard) and ho­pe t­hat the pro­blems of the past are now be­hind us.”

Ge­or­ge Child and Fa­mi­ly Wel­fa­re (GCFW) was not af­fected by the she­na­ni­gans ta­king pla­ce at CWSA as it is run in­de­pen­dent­ly of CWSA, but is af­fi­li­a­ted to CWSA. GCFW does not re­ly on the ma­na­ge­ment in­put of the a­rea ma­na­ger t­hat is ap­pli­ca­ble to the smal­ler bran­ches.

Ac­cor­ding to Co­le, the Al­ber­ti­nia and Hei­del­berg bran­ches which we­re un­der the di­rect con­t­rol of CWSA, are on­ce au­to­no­mous or­ga­ni­sa­ti­ons which will be o­pe­ra­ting un­der the ma­na­ge­ment of the pro­vin­ci­al bo­ard. “The­re is a vast im­pro­vement in po­si­ti­vi­ty of the lo­cal child wel­fa­re bran­ches as the news of the new ar­ran­ge­ment starts fil­te­ring through,” said Co­le.

(My­ron Ra­bi­no­witz is a long stan­ding mem­ber of the Bo­ard of Ge­or­ge Child and Fa­mi­ly Wel­fa­re - E­di­tor)

Mercia Co­le (left) and Ge­o­reen van Rens­burg be­lie­ve t­hat Child Wel­fa­re will on­ce a­gain be in a po­si­ti­on to ser­vi­ce its clients pro­fes­si­o­nal­ly. P­ho­to: My­ron Ra­bi­no­witz

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