Kieno Kammies says he is concerned by the numbers of children he sees that appear to be living on the streets in Cape Town. What is the Western Cape government doing to ensure the safety of children who are homeless, he asks.
He talks to Cayla Murray, spokesperson for Western Cape Social Development about the problem.
She says the department is urging members of the public to report vulnerable children that are seen in the streets whether begging with their parents or alone.
She says if anyone notices that a child is vulnerable, neglected at home or sleeping on the streets the correct process is to call the Depart of Social Development.
What we do is that we deploy a social worker to go and investigate the situation and possibly place the child in the Child's Protective Services.— Cayla Murray, Spokesperson - Western Cape Social Development
We have an established partnership with the Department of health as well as the Department of Education where a child who is in need of child protective services can be referred to us.— Cayla Murray, spokesperson - Western Cape Social Development
Ultimately, as a department and government, we won't be able to address all social ills in our society without taking a whole society approach. We all have a collective responsibility to report this.— Cayla Murray, spokesperson - Western Cape Social Development
According to Murray, the Western Cape Social Development Department has a 24-hour treatment and secure centre which admits children, 54 NGOs who provide child care, 6 restrictive centres for children and several security centres for children.
The department is always having to deal with the challenge of a lack of resources to provide for these children, she says.
The other challenge is finding appropriate placements for children in the longer time, once they are ready to leave the care facilities, she adds.
She says, unfortunately, some of the children remain in the system longer than it is required because there are insufficient foster homes to give them good care.
To hear the rest of the conversation, listen below: