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Foster Care Empowerment Project

Saulsville initiative

This project is a parenting skill project aimed at equipping foster parents with the financial management skills to ensure that the foster grant is managed properly for promoting the best interest of children.

The Saulsville office is embarking on the parenting skills project wherein the foster parents will receive training on the administration of the foster grant as well as making sound financial decisions for their foster children.

The social workers in the Saulsville demarcated area have identified a trend with the majority of foster parents in their caseload. Foster parents are misusing the foster child grant and they are not putting aside money for the foster children for their tertiary education, thus it is a need to host a training session every year that will empower the foster parents to make sound financial decisions for their foster children. Foster children who are in tertiary will also be involved so that they can also be aware of how their status changes from becoming a foster ‘child’ to ‘person’ and the process thereof.

This project will have two follow up sessions that will monitor the progress of the foster parents, introduce them to new financial skills and update them with any necessary information from SASSA regarding foster children

While youth outside the foster system may more often have access to an array of supports, both financial and otherwise, from their families as they transition to adulthood, many youth transitioning out of foster care are expected to immediately manage all aspects of their finances independently when they reach the age of majority. This transition would be difficult for anybody, but it is especially difficult for youth that have been in foster care who have already faced a host of other challenges. For this reason, focusing on financial capability while youth are still in care is critical to ensuring that these individuals make a smooth transition to adulthood (National Resource Center for Youth Development, 2014:7

Goal

“To empower foster family with financial skills that will enable them to utilise the foster child grant appropriately”.

Objectives

  • To identify 10 foster families to take part in the empowerment project for a period of a year.
  • To introduce financial skills to identified families.
  • To train foster families on how to live within your means.
  • To reinforce the responsibilities of the foster parent towards the foster child financially (question of telling children about their foster child grant).
  • To empower the foster parents on how to open a savings account for the foster child and to inform them of suitable banking institutions in this regard.
  • To follow up on progress of the foster family.
  • To give families a platform to evaluate the project.

Outcomes

  • Live within your means
  • Have a monthly budget
  • Have a savings account
  • Debt free
  • Shop wisely

IMPLEMENTATION

The empowerment project is set to take place in three part series in April, August and December at Atteridgeville Community hall in partnership with banks such as Old Mutual and Capitec Bank and foster parents as beneficiaries.

  • SUPPORTING LEGISLATIONS

The Children’s Act (38 of 2005)

The Act provides for the administration of justice in Children’s Courts, and contains detailed provisions for children in need of care and protection as well as child abduction and trafficking. The Act attempts to overhaul welfare legislation by consolidating the currently fragmented child welfare law in South Africa. Chapter 12 of the Act speaks of foster care as it is there to protect and take care of a child by giving the child a healthy family environment to stay in while still trying to work towards reuniting the child with his or her original family. The intention is to encourage strong family ties that can last a lifetime. These ties can be with the original family or within another family environment based in their community.

The Social Assistance Act 13 of 2004

Section 8 of the Act is with regard to the foster child grant and it states:

Foster child grant

8. A foster parent is, subject to section 5, eligible for a foster child grant for a child for

as long as that child needs such care if-

(a) the foster child is in need of care; and

(b)he or she satisfies the requirements of the Child Care Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005).

  • CONCLUSION

This project will be the first of its kind in the Rata organization in Pretoria region as the trend was identified by the Saulsville social workers. By making foster families aware of the importance of saving money for tertiary, the social workers hope that this will assist the foster children when they go to tertiary institutions should they fail to acquire a scholarship or bursary.

Delvenisia November
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