SOUTH AFRICA SIGNS COMPREHENSIVE CASE MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT FOR CHILDREN

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By Pricilla Seamelando

  • The South African government, represented by Minister of Social Development Ms Lindiwe Zulu and others, has signed the new Comprehensive Case Management for Children Government-to-Government (G2G) Agreement, emphasising the importance of protecting children and ensuring their well-being.
  • This landmark agreement, signed at the residence of the Consul General of the United States in Cape Town, marks a significant milestone in collaborative efforts between South Africa and the United States to safeguard vulnerable children, particularly those living with HIV, disabilities, and survivors of sexual violence.
  • The agreement aims to enhance the provision of services for vulnerable children, with a focus on elevating support for Children Living with HIV (CLHIV), children with disabilities, and survivors of sexual violence, while promoting innovative and responsive interventions such as the Therapeutic Programme for Children and Families Affected by Childhood Sexual Abuse.

In a continued effort for the protection of children and to ensure their well-being, the South African government has become a signatory of the new Comprehensive Case Management for Children Government-to-Government (G2G) Agreement.

Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, along with the Western Cape MEC of Social Development, Sharna Fernandez, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Southern Africa Mission Director, Leslie Marbury, and U.S. Consul General Todd P. Haskell, officially signed the agreement.

“We must all join in uplifting and safeguarding our youngest individuals and ensuring they are limited by the size of their dreams and the range of their aspirations. That is what makes the signing of this agreement here today, ceremonial as it may be, imperative because preventing child abuse, neglect, and exploitation is a national effort that demands a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach,” said Minister Zulu at the signing that took place at the residence of the Consul General of the United States in Cape Town.

The signing of this G2G agreement between the United States and South Africa is a significant milestone in the collaborative South Africa-U.S. efforts to safeguard the well-being of vulnerable children in South Africa.

The agreement is designed to elevate the provision of services for vulnerable children in the country, particularly Children Living with HIV (CLHIV), those with disabilities, and survivors of sexual violence. 

Minister Zulu welcomed the expansion of the implementation of the G2G programme to the Western Cape adding that it supported the government’s efforts to improve the coordination of programmes and services across the country.

“Noteworthy is the number of reviews of policies and programmes that have enabled us to introduce more innovative and responsive interventions, RISIHA is one such programme born out of this collaboration.”

She also referred to the Therapeutic Programme for Children and Families Affected by Childhood Sexual Abuse, which significantly contributes to strengthening the capacity of social workers to render specialised services to children who have experienced violence in their lives.

“To date, nine hundred and sixty-five (965) social workers have been trained in therapeutic

programme for children and families affected by childhood sexual abuse,” she said.

Delving into the concept that local problems demand local solutions, Minister Zulu said that community-centred approaches such as RISIHA mobilised and enhanced community

capacity and increasing people’s control over their lives.

“All children deserve to grow up in a caring and loving environment, yet across our country, hundreds of thousands of children experience violence, sometimes at the hands of those who are duty-bound to protect them. Our nation’s enduring commitment to prevent child abuse, neglect and exploitation demands that individuals, community-based organisations and the government partner together to provide safe and nurturing environments for all of our children,” said Minister Zulu.

She highlighted that USAID’s continued support and collaboration were pivotal as the government expanded the G2G programme to other provinces to ensure improved partnerships and a functional referral system across key departments and civil society organisations at provincial, district and local levels.

“The G2G Cooperation Agreement that we are signing here today is a symbol of the friendship between our governments and people, and I have great faith in our countries’ future as allies and partners in advancing the development agenda,” concluded Minister Zulu.

 

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