Children need our protection
Infant murder, abuse rate unacceptable, writes
of an outrage.
Violent acts against children and abandonment cannot be the new norm. Any harm, abuse or murder of children should have no place in our communities.
Adults, specifically parents, must play their role as the protectors and responsible custodians of children. Nobody, not even the state, can replace the role which committed and responsible parents play in the family and household. Families are the primary space and first line of defence in the challenge of keeping our children safe.
As a department we will continue to play our part to provide support to all families in need of support. This is why our spending and services to children and families continue to be the largest single expenditure item on our annual budget, and this year stands at R651.5 million.
This allows us to sustainably grow our 1 510 social work professionals across the province, and increasingly build their specialisation in dealing with children and family matters, as per our country’s progressive children’s legislation.
However even with these ongoing efforts, the government cannot do this alone. Parents and adults in communities must play their part.
I encourage parents and adults in communities to educate themselves on the warning signs of abuse, which can include bruises, burn marks and hyper-vigilance. We must foster better relations in our homes, and call out patriarchal and sexist behaviour.
We must take a stand. We cannot allow the abuse, violence and child killings to continue. There can be no place for child abusers and child murderers in our society.
Fritz is Social Development MEC, Western Cape.
Protecting children is not just the government’s job, says the writer.