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Children’s Act: Promoting implementation

After more than a decade in the making, the whole Children’s Act 38 of 2005 (as amended by Act 41 of 2007) came into operation on 1 April 2010, together with its regulations. This project aims to promote the implementation of the Children’s Act. The main implementation challenges are a lack of adequate human resources, a history of a low budget allocation and expenditure base for social services aimed at children, and the need for knowledge and understanding among practitioners and the public on how to interpret and apply the new law.

To contribute to the growth and development of the necessary human resources to implement the Act, the project draws on a similar model used by the completed Children's Bill Project to promote participation and input on a new law that will help regulate and recognise a range of professionals and practitioners who are responsible for the implementation of the new Act. For this purpose, a Social Service Practitioners Advocacy Network was established to promote the participation of social service practitioners in the finalisation of the Social Service Professions and Occupations Bill.

To promote budget growth, the Institute has been monitoring the budget allocations and expenditure trends of the nine provincial departments of social development since 2007. In addition, research on the donor funding flows for Children’s Act services was done in 2010 in partnership with Community Agency for Social Enquiry (CASE). The research findings are communicated to the government, donors and civil society to promote growth of the available funding, and to fund all geographical areas and service categories more comprehensively.

To respond to the need for knowledge and an understanding of the Act, the Institute publishes guides and popular articles, and conducts training sessions with relevant professionals to help them understand the implications of the new Act on their roles and responsibilities.

Work on this project to date was made possible by the DG Murray Trust, Atlantic Philanthropies, the ELMA Foundation and UNICEF South Africa.

For more information and resources on the Children's Act, visit the Law reform page.


Further reading

Children's Act guide for early childhood development practitioners
November 2011
Berry L, Jamieson L & James M
Children's Institute, University of Cape Town, & Little Elephant Training Centre for Early Education (LETCEE)

Legal guide to age thresholds for children and young people
April 2011 (Edition 5)
Mahery P & Proudlock P 2011

Children’s Act guide for child and youth care workers
January 2011 (Edition 1) [File size: 2.84 MB]
Mahery P, Jamieson L & Scott K 2011
Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town, & National Association of Child and Youth Care Workers

A guide to the Children's Act for health professionals
June 2010 (Edition 4)
Mahery P, Proudlock P & Jamieson L  2010

The Children's Act has commenced: Are the 2010/11 budgets of the provincial departments of social development adequate to implement it?
Budlender D & Proudlock P 2010

Special child protective measures in the Children’s Act
Kassan D & Mahery P 2009
In: Boezaart T (ed) (2009) Child Law in South Africa. Claremont: Juta.

Executive summary: Analysis of the 2009/10 budgets of the nine provincial departments of social development: Are the budgets adequate to implement the Children's Act?                                                                                               
Budlender D & Proudlock P 2009

Analysis of the 2009/10 budgets of the nine provincial departments of social development: Are the budgets adequate to implement the Children’s Act?
Budlender D & Proudlock P 2009

Guide to the Children’s Act No. 38 of 2005 (As amended by the Children’s Amendment Act 41 of 2007)
Proudlock P & Jamieson L 2008
Issued on 26 May 2008 during Child Protection Week and the Department of Social Development conference Getting South Africa Ready to Implement the Children’s Act.

Analysis of the 2008/09 budgets of the nine provincial departments of social development: Are the budgets adequate to implement the Children’s Act?
Budlender D & Proudlock P July 2008

Analysis of the 2008/09 budget of the Gauteng provincial Department of Social Development: Is the budget adequate for implementing the Children’s Act?
Budlender D & Proudlock P April 2008

Choices which can affect the cost of the Children’s Bill
Budlender D, Proudlock P & Jamieson L 2007
Centre for Actuarial Research & Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town, July 2007

 

Quotes

We do appreciate the work of the Children’s Institute, as children are vulnerable from whichever angle one wants to look at their lives. One hopes that the amendments to legislation will be a worthy contribution too.
President of the Inkatha Freedom Party, Prince Mangusuthu Buthelezi, MP, March 2007
 
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