Child and Youth Care Workers: Draft Regulations Developed

Department of Social Development

An interim structure established to proceed with work previously conducted by the professional board for child and youth care work has developed draft regulations for child and youth care workers at auxiliary and professional levels.

This is according to comments made by social development minister Bathabile Dlamini during a speech at the eighteenth biennial conference of the National Association for Child Care Workers (NACCW).

The interim structure has also:

• developed a draft code of ethics for child and youth care workers; and
• facilitated the establishment of a database of these workers in South Africa.

During December 2010, the South African Council for Social Service Professionals and the professional board for social work were inaugurated, replacing the original board.

Minister Dlamini told conference delegates that the process of nominating and appointing a new professional board would begin during the course of July 2011. She said that this board should be operational by December 2011 and would be responsible for:

• registering practitioners at national qualification framework (NQF) levels four to seven;
• implementing the proposed code of conduct; and
• setting minimum standards for education and training in the child and youth care sector.

According to the minister Children’s Act 38 of  2005, as amended, makes “specific provision” for the adult supervision of child-headed households where the eldest child is over the age of 16 years.

“However, in cases where the eldest child is under 16 years of age, alternative care arrangements have to be considered for the children,” she continued. “As the department of social development, we have a responsibility to create an environment of care, protection and support for children in line with the legislation.”

Minister Dlamini said that, with this in mind, her department’s 2011 budget vote had made provision for recruiting and training 10 000 child and youth care workers over a period of three years. Their principal role would be to support families living in child-headed households.

She told delegates that this work would focus on rural and informal settlements and would be based on the 'isibindi' (courage) model.

Isibindi was developed by the NACCW to train and support community-based child and youth care workers to provide a variety of services to child-headed households and households where adults are ill as a result of HIV/AIDS.

Sabinet Cape Town Office