Department of Social Development
The social development department plans to table the Draft Children’s Amendment Bill in parliament in 2019.
The draft bill was published for comment in Government Gazette 42005 at the end of October 2018.
Its explanatory summary was published in Gazette 42248.
The draft bill seeks to amend the Children’s Act of 2005 in order to:
• further promote and protect the child’s right to physical and psychological integrity;
• further regulate the position of unmarried fathers;
• extend the children’s court jurisdiction to hear applications for guardianship;
• provide for matters relating to the provision and funding of early childhood development programmes;
• strengthen provisions relating to the National Child Protection Register;
• regulate the care of abandoned or orphaned children by family members;
• further regulate the initiation of care and protection proceedings;
• further regulate the medical testing of children for foster care and adoption purposes;
• clarify procedures for children in alternative care;
• further regulate matters relating to adoption and inter-country adoption;
• expedite the hearing of child abduction matters and to provide for legal representation of children;
• adjust the criteria relating to surrogate motherhood and to provide for related matters;
• align the Act with the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, 2007, and the Jurisdiction of Regional Courts Amendment Act, 2008;
• align the Act with court judgments;
• supplement provisions relating to children with disabilities;
• empower the Minister to make additional regulations;
• remove certain inconsistencies; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.
Meanwhile, in Gazette 42240, the department has published adjusted fees to be paid to the Council for Social Service Professions by social workers and child and youth care workers.
Applicants with local qualifications will pay a registration application fee of R233 while R222 will be charged for restoration of names to the register.
Student social workers and student youth and child care workers will pay a registration fee of R217 while social auxiliary workers will be charged a registration fee of R134.
The fee for a duplicate registration certificate is set at R245 while a certificate of status of good standing will cost R600.