BULAWAYO, Monday, September 26, 1966 — Finding homes for homeless children was specialised work requiring trained and experienced workers, Mrs A Dods, chairperson of the Bulawayo Child Fostering Association, said at the weekend.
It was not enough, said Mrs Dods, for a case worker to be a volunteer with a ready smile on her face. Training and experience were important “if the worker is to know how to go about her work and what to look for.”
The association had so far this year dealt with 52 children, some needing temporary accommodation and others long-term homes. The number was similar to that in the past.
The children generally fell within these categories: Those requiring emergency homes for perhaps a few weeks during their mothers’ illness; those from institutions who may be on holiday; and those in need of long-term homes, for months or years, when they could not return to their own homes for various reasons.
Homes were also wanted for teenagers just beginning work away from their parents’ homes, said Mrs Dods.
Homes were found for children through public appeals, offers by the would-be foster parents or by links with child welfare and other organisations.
Once a home was found it was investigated by case workers.
The ideal, said Mrs Dods, was to find foster parents with children of their own. Their children must be old enough not to compete with the foster child.