The situation of SA's children, 2013 - Children's Institute news
Out now: South African Child Gauge 2013
The eighth issue of our popular annual review of the situation of South Africa’s children was published earlier in October. The South African Child Gauge 2013 focuses on the theme of essential services for young children as one of the most effective strategies to ensure optimal child well-being and development. It was published in partnership with UNICEF South Africa and Ilifa Labantwana, the latter a consortium of three donors who are supporting early childhood development in South Africa.
The keynote speaker at the public launch, Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, stressed that “provision of early childhood development services requires a common understanding, shared commitment, and united action across public and private sectors as well as civil society”. It is hoped that this issue of the South African Child Gauge can contribute to such a shared understanding, and encourage the necessary united action.
A recent Medical Research Council (MRC) study on child homicide patterns has shown that child abuse deaths are falling through the cracks. Not only are these deaths easily misclassified as natural, but medical practitioners and pathologists deviate from their ethical responsibility to report suspected cases.
In several countries, child death review teams are used to better understand how and why children die with the overall aim to prevent other deaths and improve the health, safety and well-being of children. For this reason, the Children’s Institute, in partnership with UCT’s Division of Forensic Medicine and the MRC’s Gender and Health Research Unit, have embarked on a study to pilot the use of child death review teams as a mechanism to identify factors to reduce preventable child deaths, and to facilitate the justice process in cases of child homicide.
Upcoming course: Child Rights and Child Law
for Health and Allied Professionals
This five-day course, now in its third year, examines the relationship between children’s rights and child health, and aims to equip health professionals with the necessary knowledge and skills to realise children’s rights in their daily practice.
The next course dates are 2 – 6 December 2013.
Participants who are registered with the Health Professionals Council can earn 60 CPD points in health ethics, and social workers registered with the South African Council for Social Service professionals can earn 20 CPD points.
Course participants also get access to website resources on children's health rights.
After Freedom: The rise of the post-apartheid generation in democratic South Africa
Newman KS & De Lannoy A
Beacon, Boston, MA.
CI senior researcher, Dr Ariane De Lannoy, is the co-author of a book based on her Ordinary Politics study in collaboration with Katherine Newman, Dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Johns Hopkins University.
This ethnographic study had seven young adults from various socio-economic and racial backgrounds at its core. It aimed to understand young adults’ perceptions, attitudes and beliefs toward the opportunities that will – or will not – be available to them as a consequence of government policy and inter-group relations. The book is published by Beacon and will be released in April 2014 in time for the country’s celebrations of 20 years of democracy.
View book description
New and recent publications
The epidemiology of child homicides in South Africa
Mathews, S, Abrahams, N, Jewkes R, Martin LJ & Lombard C 2013 Bulletin World Health Organisation, 2013, 91:562–568. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.2471/BLT.12.117036
Exploring mental health adjustment of children post sexual assault in South Africa Mathews S, Abrahams N & Jewkes R 2013 Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 22:6, 639-657. doi: 10.1080/10538712.2013.811137
Are children’s rights prioritised at a time of budget cuts? Assessing the adequacy of the 2013/14 social development budgets for funding of Children’s Act services
Budlender B & Proudlock P 2013
It is the seventh consecutive year that the Children's Institute undertook this analysis of whether the national budget is adequate to fund services provided for in the Children’s Act. The Act is the primary law for realising children’s constitutional rights to care, protection and social services. It obliges government to provide and fund a comprehensive range of social welfare services for children and their families. These include programmes to strengthen families to prevent abuse, abandonment and neglect of children; protection and therapy for children who have been harmed; and alternative care for children who cannot live with their families.
Child death reviews in the context of child abuse fatalities – learning from international practice
Mathews S, Abrahams N & Martin LJ 2013
Joint briefing paper of the Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town, and the Medical Research Council.
This briefing paper provides a review of published articles and reports on child death review mechanisms internationally. Relevant materials reviewed showed child death review processes only in high-income settings, suggesting the need to explore its efficacy in middle- and low-income settings.
Children’s Act guide for child and youth care workers
July 2013 (Edition 2)
An updated edition of this guide on the Children's Act was released a few months ago. The guide is for everyone working in child and youth care – workers in residential care and community programmes; managers of child and youth care centres, including shelters; trainers; and supervisors. It aims to equip people with the necessary knowledge and understanding of how to interpret and apply the law when delivering services. The new edition includes information on working with children on the streets and updates on recent changes to the law.
Congratulations … on the sterling work … done by the Children’s Institute. The fact sheet [on invisible and excluded children] provides a summary of a mammoth task being executed with the most wonderful dedication and commitment – thank you so much for everything you and your exceptional team are doing for our children.
Office of the Superintendent General, MS Rakometsi,
Free State Department of Education, Oct. 2006
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