South Africa: Over a Million Children Fall Through Foster Care Cracks

ver a million orphans and abused, neglected, and abandoned children in South Africa are falling through the cracks of an overburdened foster care system.

More often than not, children who qualify for Foster Child Grants from the government are not receiving them. Over 1.5 million maternal orphans (children whose mothers have died) are living with relatives, according to analysis of General Household Survey data by the Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town. Based on the current foster care system, they should be eligible for a Foster Child Grant.

In addition, many thousands of children under foster care for reasons such as abuse, neglect and abandonment are eligible.

Yet according to data from the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) fewer than 550,000 receive the grants each year.

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