Children's act: Worried about a child?

Who is a child?

At Uviwe, we recognize a person as a “child”, as defined by the Children’s Act:

Any person between the age of 0 – 18 years is legally recognized as a child. The age of a child is important when dealing with the legal aspects of a child. The Children’s Act determines that children has the right to make certain choices affecting their lives, according to a specific age.
Any person above the age of 18 years no longer fall within the scope of the Children’s Act.

Uviwe therefore works predominantly with children below the age of 18 years.

Types of child abuse

Child Abuse is categorised according to five different types. The categorisation allows better understanding of the specific dynamics relating to each different type of maltreatment. These are:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Neglect
  • Exploitation

The Children’s Act prescribe that all allegations of Child Abuse needs to be investigated and children (victims of abuse) be assessed to ensure their safety.

In the Children’s Act, 2005 (No. 38 of 2005) abuse in relation to a child means any form of harm or ill-treatment deliberately inflicted on a child, and includes:

  • Assaulting a child or inflicting any other form of deliberate injury to a child;
  • Sexually abusing a child or allowing a child to be sexually abused;
  • Bullying by another child;
  • A labour practice that exploits a child; or
  • Exposing or subjecting a child to behaviour that may harm the child psychologically or emotionally
Where to report?

In the Metro any suspected case of child abuse can be reported to:

1. Department of Social Development & Special Programmes (041 4065800)


3. Uviwe Child & Youth Services (041 453 0441/2/5 or

Social workers work together with SAPS and hospitals to investigate cases of child abuse.

In general a case can be reported to any of the following:

  • A designated social worker at the provincial Department of Social Development; or local Municipality;
  • The clerk of the court at the local office of the Magistrate;
  • The local police station;
  • A designated social worker at the local designated child protection organisation office;
  • A school, or the hospital, or medical practitioner; and
  • Community leaders, such as ward councillors, or those within religious institutions
Who must report?

According to the Children’s Act the following groups is MANDATED to report child abuse:

A correctional official, immigration official, labour inspector, traditional leader, legal practitioner, teacher, medical practitioner or dentist, minister of religion, religious leader or traditional health practitioner, nurse, midwife, occupational therapist, pshycotehrapist, homeopath, psychologist of speech therapist, social service prof, social worker or member of staff or volunteer at a partial care facility, drop-in centre or child and youth car. Failure to report - when legally obligated – fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years, or both

  • Report must be accompanied by FORM 22

Reporting not compulsory for persons other than those designated in S 110(1) centre

Early childhood development:

ECD Model

Our Early Childhood Development Programme focus on providing children (aged 2 – 6) with the opportunity to enhance and optimally develop their physical, emotional, social and intellectual skills. The programme is age appropriate and include a variety of activities that will ensure optimal fine- and gross motor skill development for pre-school children

Uviwe is committed to employ trained teachers who focus on the development of each child. We recognise the various child development phases and where required, a social worker will be called to assist with family interventions.

Uviwe’s ECD programme complies with the 5 elements of the ECD essential package, as well as comply with the Department of Education Curriculum Framework.

Caring for creches

This program aims to empower crèche teaches to become capable caregivers, confident in dealing with young children and matters such as child abuse, child rights, child development, domestic violence, HIV, child health, death, discipline, communication, parents and motivation. The programme also assist unregistered creches with the basic knowledge of organisational performance, governance, registration requirements, as well as basic bookkeeping. If you are interested in attending the next training group – please contact Richmal van Eeden at

Enroll your child at one of Uviwe's ECD centre's

Please contact our Office at for a copy of the ECD enrolment form and fee structure



Child protection

The South African constitution has made provision for children to have rights to family and parental care. However, a large number of children are removed from their families and parental care due to a number of reasons. Section 150 of the Act states the following reasons for a child to be seen as in need of care:

A child is in need of care and protection if, the child:

  •  Has been abandoned or orphaned and is without any visible means of support;
  •  Displays behavior which cannot be controlled by the parent or care-giver;
  •  Lives or works on the streets or begs for a living;
  • Is addicted to a dependence-producing substance and is without any support to obtain treatment for such dependency;
  • Has been exploited or lives in circumstances that expose the child to exploitation;
  • Lives in or is exposed to circumstances which may seriously harm that child’s physical, mental or social well-being;
  • May be at risk if returned to the custody of the parent, guardian or care-giver of the child as there is reason to believe that he or she will live in or be exposed to circumstances which may seriously harm the physical, mental or social well-being of the child;
  •  Is in a state of physical or mental neglect; or
  •  Is being maltreated, abused, deliberately neglected or degraded by a parent, a care-giver, a person who has parental responsibilities and rights or a family member of the child or by a person under whose control the child is.

(2) A child found in the following circumstances may be a child in need of care and protection and must be referred for investigation by a designated social worker:

(a) A child who is a victim of child labour; and

(b) A child in a child-headed household.

Before the removal of a child is contemplated, the designated social worker from Uviwe needs to first assess and establish whether removal is in the best interests of the child. Uviwe’s social worker needs to assess and determine if any intervention can be made with the biological family before considering removal. The main purpose of removal is to ensure that any actions or decisions concerning a child must respect, protect and promote the rights of the child.

This is purely a social work function, and must be performed by a designated social worker from a Child Protection Organisation, such as Uviwe Child & Youth Services - or the provincial Department of Social Development. This function should be performed in consultation with other relevant professionals.

What must be assessed?

The risk assessment must focus on the following aspects:

  • Assessment of the child:
  • Physical and mental health status;
  • Visible effects of abuse/ maltreatment;
  • Risky behaviours
  • Developmental delays
  • Assessment of the child’s family of origin;
  • Their resources;
  • Other children;
  • Factors that contributed to the child needing alternative care; and
    Developmental needs of a child and his/her family.

Uviwe provides alternative care options to abused and severely neglected children. A specific social worker is allocated to the child’s foster care placement and regular monitoring visits and counselling support is provided. Extension of the foster care court order is done by a registered social worker from Uviwe.

CARE PLAN – every child in foster care has a specific care plan, looking at the needs of the child in a holistic manner.

Alternative Care:

A child in alternative care is defined as a child that has either been placed in foster care; in the care of a Child and Youth Care Centre following an order of the Children’s Court or the Criminal Procedure Act, 51 of 1977; or in temporary safe care.

The Adoption Tracing programme entails a step by step process by which an adoptive child can request information or contact about his/her biological parents.

A small fee is charged for this service, but please ask your social worker for financial support if needed

Community safety and support

Uviwe partners with local community based organisations to arrange holiday programme during which exciting activities are arrange, such as:

  • Cultural activities, games and story telling;
  • Sports fixtures;
  • Free play;
  • Educational toys/early development & stimulation;
  • Group discussions and life skills through play;
  • Zakheni workshops


The Isibindi model has been widely recognised, both locally and internationally, as a best practice model for the provision of quality child care and protection services to vulnerable children, including orphans and child headed households. Via the Isibindi programme trained child and youth care workers identify vulnerable children and help their families to access birth certificates and identity documents, social grants, HIV and TB medication and treatment, school fee exemptions, improved housing, water and electricity. They also provide home based care, child protection services and psycho-social support.

Uviwe’s social workers offer psycho-social support to child victims of rape. We also assist the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) with required legal services as explained in the KWIC programme:

KWIC – Kids Witnessing in Court

This programme is threefold:

1.Court Preparation
2.Preliminary Reports
3.Victim Impact Statements)

KITE - Kids in Therapeutic Engagement

The KITE Programme is a collection of themes and modules that are designed to take the “unknown” out of a very scary experience by educating both the parents and their children about victim rights, and providing information in an uncomplicated way, on sexual abuse.

Community outreach:

Uviwe’s campaigns are aimed at the prevention of child abuse and exploitation. Please contact us if you want to arrange any of the following programmes at your school:

• School awareness project

• “Puppet show”

• Child protection week

• 16 Days of activism against child and woman abuse

• “I know my rights” - Child Right’s workshop

• Door to door campaigns

Uviwe participates in general awareness days and our social workers can present information on any topic of your choice. Contact us for the next awareness day at your hospital.

Uviwe partners with various businesses to improve the efficiency of child protection systems in the Metro. Without the support of our small, medium and large companies we will not be able to sustain critical services to vulnerable communities. People employed by the business sector is often similarly affected by and living in communities with high levels of crime, violence and poverty. At community level there is benefit to both the business sector and civil society to take hands and support each other. Small and large businesses have already made significant contributions through financial support, as well as volunteering time and skills. Uviwe is often invited to Corporate Wellness Days and Career Expo’s to present or exhibit our services and inform people on issues affecting children in the Metro. Our general awareness presentations on positive parenting, bullying and child sexual abuse are often requested by companies. If you would like to discuss a partnership opportunity, or invite one of our trained staff members to speak at your company’s next Wellness Day - contact our Director directly at Anna-Louise Olivier

MANDELA DAY – 67 minutes! Contact Uviwe for your next corporate initiative to give back to the children of our city!

Uviwe participates in various awareness campaigns across the Metro. We are often invited to talk about our services, or issues affecting the children in our city. Our awareness talks are adapted to suit the needs of the specific audience and we use methodologies that can be adapted to children, youth and adults. Our puppet shows are very popular for pre-school children. Where possible we partner with youth groups to deliver exciting edu-tainment “shows”.
Our training and projects teams have qualified staff members to deliver innovative and informative talks on a variety number of issues such as :

  • Child abuse
  • Children’s rights
  • Bullying & cyber-bullying
  • Sexting
  • Parenting
  • Building health homes

We align our awareness campaigns with the national awareness days such as Child Protection Week (May/June), Youth Day (June) and 16 Days of Activism against Child & Women Abuse (December)

For more information, or to partner with us during your next awareness drive, please contact our Training Department here

The world fit for children - 10 goals

table 2

Copyright Uviwe 2016. Contact us - Terms and Conditions - Get Involved

facebook icon  twitter icons  instagram icon