3/06/2014 – ACDP says while agencies promote adoption, DSD drags its heels

ACDP Parliament
Media Statement
Cheryllyn Dudley, MP and Whip

ACDP says while agencies promote adoption, DSD drags its heels

* slow accreditation of Social Workers
* incompetence in process – verification of National Child Protection Register too slow

ACDP MP Cheryllyn Dudley said today that:

“During Child Protection Week, the ACDP is raising concerns that the slow pace in accreditation of social workers to render adoption services is causing delays in adoptions and seriously disadvantaging children in need.”

There are more than 2-million children waiting to be adopted in South Africa and according to the Salvation Army, many orphaned children end up as the product of human trafficking activities if not cared for properly.

A study by the SA Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) found that adoptions were not a frequent choice among families which is why the National Adoption Coalition, have set out to create awareness through an emotionally compelling radio and TV campaign, aimed at finding more loving families to adopt orphaned and abandoned children.

“Some social workers have had to struggle for more than a year to get their accreditation”, Dudley said.

“The accreditation process should be streamlined and dealt with with-in an acceptable time frame of not more than six weeks – and all social workers wanting to render adoption services, who have the required experience to do so, should go through the same accreditation process, regardless of whether they are employed at an NGO, in private practice or at DSD.”

The ACDP is calling on the Minister of Social Development to urgently rectify this situation.

Another hindrance to adoption is that an adoption cannot be granted without a letter from DSD being sent to adoptive parents confirming their name does not appear on Part B of the National Child Protection Register.  The understanding was that these letters would be issued within two weeks of receiving the form 30 application.  In some cases, applications via registered post followed up two months later had not yet collected by the department.

“This is unacceptable and clearly not in the best interest of the child – the ACDP will be putting questions to the Minister when the new term starts”, Dudley added.

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