The Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga, MP, appreciates the solid partnership the department of Basic Education has with the Children’s Institute to protect the rights of the most vulnerable members of our society; our children.
Mzi Khala, Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Basic Education, Sept. 2010
Over the past 10 years a diverse set of problems have been documented about the widespread use of the foster care system to provide financial assistance to the country’s increasing number of orphans, the majority of whom are living with relatives. Children’s Institute socio-legal research and consultations with government and practitioners are aimed at finding clarity and proposing solutions that are in the best interests of all affected children.
South Africa’s comprehensive range of laws, policies and programmes to realise children’s rights need to be adequately resourced in order to reach all children in need. This project has been conducting annual child-centred analyses of government’s budgets to assess whether the state is allocating and spending adequate budgets to realise children’s rights. Ultimately, the project wants to contribute to ensuring that adequate resources are allocated for the effective delivery of services to children, and that these resources are spent in children's best interests.
Project 28 was a rights-based project that focuses on promoting the realisation of children’s socio-economic rights in South Africa. The project aimed to seek clarity on the meaning of children’s socio-economic rights, particularly regarding the nature and extent of the government’s obligations to children.
This project, conducted in collaboration with the Centre for Actuarial Research at the University of Cape Town, drew on a combination of primary research and demographic projections, as well as a costing exercise, to consider the application of the foster care system to provide poverty alleviation for households caring for orphans.
This project explored the forms that the 'last resort' – residential care for children – is taking in the face of the AIDS pandemic in South Africa, and considered these forms in relation to South African policy and legislation. In particular, the project focused on residential care set-ups that have emerged out of, and in response to the needs of, community-based initiatives.
The Children’s Bill Working Group, established by the Children's Institute in 2003, played a central role in promoting the participation of the children's sector in the making of a new Children's Act. Since the Act came into force in 2010, the focus has shifted to monitoring the implementation of the new law, particularly related to budget allocations and human resource capacity.
The Social Service Practitioners Advocacy Network (SSPAN) was established in November 2008 mainly to promote the participation of social service practitioners in the finalisation of a new Act governing the sector. The Children’s Institute housed the secretariat of SSPAN until May 2011, when the project was closed.