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Back to family: emergency foster care

€ 40.000 up to and including 2021

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South Africa, Ugu-district

Educating 24 parents


Unfortunately in South Africa, still many children live in large-scale residential care centers. The amount of children is estimated between 13,000 and 21,000. Despite proper legislation about child protection that acknowledges the interest of family based care, many children who find themselves in crisis, do end up in residential care.

Our partner organisation Give a Child a Family has a lot of knowledge and experience regarding preventing children to be taken into care and establishing foster care. Emergency foster care, however is still missing. Emergency foster care means having foster families available that are immediately available to take care of children who cannot live at home.

Working with the government


Give a Child a Family will select a group of 24 families in the period 2019-2020. The organisation will educate these parents to provide immediate care for these children, especially babies and toddlers. They will provide a home for at least 48 children the coming 2 years, for as long as it is necessary.


Simultaneously, the local government in the Ugu District will be provided with more knowledge on the importance of growing up in a family and of providing financial means to place children in families instead of in residential care centers. Family based care is not only cheaper, but also much better for the development of the child.

Give a Child a Family distributes the experiences that are gained by this pilot project amongst governments and residential care centers in the district.


Unfortunately, this project has been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The collaboration with the Department of Social Development has come to a complete standstill. The South African government only focuses on Covid-19 related activities and foster care is unfortunately not a priority.

Group meetings for the recruitment and training of (potential) crisis foster parents were not allowed to take place since March due to the strict measures. The selection procedure of the already selected foster parents has also come to a standstill because the government is no longer issuing the required certificates of good behavior. The inventory of all services has been completed, however, and telephone conversations are taking place at individual level with both foster parents and relevant stakeholders.

The staff has been deployed to provide emergency relief to vulnerable families, with more than 4,000 adults and children collecting checks to buy food.

Lockdown measures in South Africa are currently relaxing, but what the exact situation will look like in the coming months specifically for this project is not clear.

You can watch the following video on the work of partner organisation Give a Child a Family.

“Every child needs one adult that is crazy about them.”