Children Count – Abantwana Babalulekile is an ongoing project that provides time-series statistics on the situation of children in South Africa to multiple audiences. The statistics and related commentary, as well as information on the data sources, are available at childrencount.ci.org.za.
This project aims to promote the implementation of the Children’s Act (Act 38 of 2005, as amended by Act 41 of 2007) that came into operation on 1 April 2010. The main implementation challenges are a lack of adequate human resources, a history of a low budget allocation and expenditure base for social services for children, and the need for knowledge and understanding among practitioners and the public on how to interpret and apply the new law.
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.
The Children’s Institute since 2001 has contributed to research and advocacy on new policies on social security for children. Research to date has focused on elements of the social security system particularly pertaining to children living in poverty. The aim is to advocate for the improvement of the social security system in South Africa to ensure that the right to social assistance is realised for all children.