SA Organisations

Protecting children is paramount

  • MichaelSieff
Two weeks ago I received an official-looking letter from the Department of Social Development. I opened it carefully. It was my clearance certificate confirming that I am not a sexual offender and giving me permission to work with the children in our care.
by MICHAEL SIEFF | Jun 10, 2015

I was not the only one. Every single person in this organisation with access to children had to be fingerprinted for police clearance and checked against the National Sexual Offenders Register - and that included our Board members, staff and volunteers.

The reason for this is that pedophiles often seek employment and volunteer opportunities to gain access to children. Being part of International Social Services, the Chev is able to confer with other countries with regard to both immigrants and emigrants.

It’s a sad reality that so many cases of child molestation occur worldwide. Almost daily we hear news reports of some or other celebrity having to face up to misdeeds. Gone are the days when such behaviour was ignored, swept under the carpet or tolerated in silence. 

In America a group calling themselves Jewish Community Watch has named and shamed teachers and community leaders for abuse crimes often going back decades, and here in South Africa huge strides are being made in forcing offenders to face charges, no matter how far in the past.

At the Chev, our focus on child protection manifests in many practical ways beyond police clearance. 

Our latest Social Services report, which I receive monthly, states: “97 families are currently being case managed as requiring family preservation with the potential to become pre-statutory or statutory in respect of the Children’s Act no 38 of 2005”. 

We watch, monitor and work together with families when children are vulnerable to maintain the family unit wherever possible.

In addition, our social workers receive ongoing training in the area of child protection. Last month, as an example, professionals from the Teddy Bear Clinic lectured to our staff on child physical and sexual abuse: forensic medical and psychological assessments. It’s tough to watch what can happen, but important to know.

All this says something good about our world: that laws have evolved to protect the safety and innocence of children; that people are finding the courage to come forward and confront those who have hurt them; that it’s simply unacceptable to abuse those who are vulnerable. It says, in fact, that protecting children is paramount.

May our partnership continue to thrive.

[email protected]




1 Comment

  1. 1 Anon 10 Jun
    Michael Sieff says that it is simply unacceptable to abuse those who are vulnerable...

    Sorry, User, our decency rules do not allow such statements ton be made from behind a veil of anonymity. You are welcome to make such a statement if you do so in your own name. Also, if you know something we don't, you are welcome to send info to [email protected] - your anonymity will be protected  =Online Ed


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