It’s always hard to write an article relating to the subject of child abuse since it always necessitates examples from the media to help prove a point. These examples are often a stark reminder of the ills facing our society, our country, but seldom deals with remedial solutions.
But this article is an exception; a pinpoint of light in a veritable darkness of daily bad news. The Department of Social Development, in recent months, has been doing the rounds in the Gauteng area to ensure partial care facilities comply with regulations as set out by the Children’s Act of 2005.
What this means, essentially, is that preschools, crèches, and other care facilities for the very young, are being monitored to ensure that the learning environment provides them with the conditions required to give every young child the same chance of a better future.
The Act makes provision for a safe and stimulating environment which partial care facilities have to adhere to pursuant to registration with their local authority. Among the many requirements included, partial care facilities are obliged to ensure that carers in their employ are suitable to work with infants and toddlers.
In terms of Section 126 of the Children’s Act, 38 of 2005,
(2) Any person employed at a partial care facility after registration of the facility in terms of the regulations must provide –
(a) a certified copy of his or her identity document;
(b) proof of his or her skills; and
(c) clearance certificates to the effect that his or her name does not appear in Part B of the National Child Protection Register or the National Register for Sex Offenders established by Chapter 6 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, 2007 (Act No. 32 of 2007), to his or her employer.
But, checking compliance with the above-mentioned requirements can be a time consuming and confusing process which requires navigation of a complex bureaucratic system. As such, a portion of partial care institutions still lack proof of compliance with Section 126.
CSI Africa’s new CarerCheck system simplifies the often complex background screening and credential verification procedure. It saves time, and reduces the administrative load on the owners of juvenile care institutions who are often full-time carers themselves.
The comprehensive CarerCheck package includes identity and credential verification, as well as criminal record checks. The package helps partial care institutions prepare for compulsory submission to the Department of Social Development to determine whether employees are listed in Part B of the National Child Protection Register or the National Register for Sex Offenders.
While full compliance with the Children’s Act and subsequent certification by the Department of Social Development requires fulfilment of criteria outside the scope of CarerCheck, it does help save time, and give care institution owners and parents peace of mind that their children are in good hands.