Free State Care in Action runs 17 social work offices in all regions of the Free State. For this purpose the organisation employs social workers and auxiliary social workers, as well as administrative staff members. They are supported by a strong team of volunteers.
Services entail the following:
Social work, which is aimed at preventing social problems such as alcohol and drug abuse, HIV/AIDS, sexual abuse, family violence and child neglect. Preventative services are rendered in the form of awareness and counselling programmes to various target groups within the broad community. This includes holiday projects, family camps, job creation and nutrition projects. More than 65,000 persons are reached by means of preventive services per annum.
Early intervention services
Early intervention services are provided to persons who are struggling with social problems. Assistance is provided in the form of therapeutic and counselling services, as well as play therapy for children.
Persons with homogeneous problems such as material need, marital problems, alcohol abuse or HIV/AIDS are assisted in groups as the need arises. In such groups, these persons also get the opportunity to learn from and support one another.
Statutory services are provided in cases where problems are of such a serious nature that statutory intervention by means of the children’s or criminal court is necessary. Statutory action is only taken as a last resort, and is preceded by intensive services. This entails that children can be removed from their parents’ care and placed in adoptive, foster or institutional care. Persons who are guilty of serious alcohol abuse may be referred to rehabilitation centres.
Social workers also submit reports to the criminal courts, with recommendations regarding the desirability of prosecuting the offender or imposing a suitable sentence.
Social workers of Free State Care in Action deal with more than 1200 children’s court cases annually. Most of the children were placed in foster care. Currently more than 7000 children are in foster care within the organisation. Most of these children have lost one or both parents due to HIV/AIDS, and are cared for by family members (often grandparents).
Thanks to funding received from the National Lottery Trust fund, Free State Care in Action could begin to establish safe houses for children who have nowhere else to go and for whom a statutory process had been initiated.
The National Lottery Trust Fund have also enabled the Brandfort service of Free State Care to establish a foster care village – Reakghatalla Foster Cluster Village – in which care is provided to foster children in 20 houses.