Child Protection Week Dialogue: Minister Fritz launches support group for parents who lost children to violence & murder

Today, Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Albert Fritz, announced plans to coordinate Support Groups for parents who have lost children through violence and murder.

Minister Fritz was speaking at the Department of Social Development (DSD) Child Protection Week Dialogue, to commemorate national Child Protection Week.

The Support Groups will be piloted in our Metro South Region, which includes communities which are heavily affected by violence, such as Mitchells Plain, Lavender Hill, Philippi, Grassy Park etc.

The Support Groups would render ongoing counselling and group therapy support to families, and walk with them on the path of healing from the trauma.

Minister Fritz was joined by Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, and Provincial Health Minister Nomafrench Mbombo.

The Dialogue featured a panel discussion with experts, academics and stakeholders working in the child protection spaces. The panel was made up of;

Dr. Lesley Corrie (DSD Children & Families Director)

Ms. Kamesh Flynn (DSD ECD programme)

Prof. Shanaaz Mathews (Childrens Institute, UCT)

W/O Avron Petersen (SAPS FCS unit � Bellville)

Ms. Nomasango Xabanisa (Sibongile Day & Night Care Centre)

Ms. Melissa Jacobs (SA ECD)

Nicolette van der Walt (ACVV)

Minister Mbombo, in her address, spoke of her department’s continued support for children through ever expanding clinic services and health infrastructure.

Premier Zille reiterated the Western Cape Governments commitment to supporting families and providing services that provide safe spaces for children. The Social Development Department continues to allocate the largest portion of its funding to services to children and families, however government cannot do it alone, said Premier Zille.

Premier Zille emphasized the importance of families, and specifically committed parents taking responsibility for their children.

Minister Fritz also led a moment of silence and candle-lighting ceremony with the parents of Stacha Arendz and Rene Roman, in memory of their children and other children murdered this year.

As we continue to commemorate Child Protection Week and beyond, we urge the public to report any cases of child abandonment, neglect and missing children to any of our regional and local offices, or to contact our DSD Hotline on 0800 220 250. We can protect our children if we continue to work ‘Better Together’.

Source: Government of South Africa