ULUTHO – Inspiring Solutions for Children
The PE Ulutho branch is co-ordinated by two social workers (one who is an adoptive mother). We aim to develop a support and information network for adoptive and foster families (and those exploring adoption/fostering). We seek to accomplish this through informal gatherings of families, professional and informative inputs for parents, and through providing advice and referrals.
We believe that children grow and develop best within family contexts. We dream of mobilizing the community of Port Elizabeth to provide more support in whatever ways they can, to enable more families to provide such care.
The Establishment of the Ulutho Legal Unit
The work of the Ulutho OVC Program soon led us to realize that the legal rights of OVCs (Orphans and Vulnerable Children) were often overlooked. Already vulnerable children were being traumatised by a system that found it difficult to implement the protection that was found in the Children’s Act 38 of 2005. When researched, it was discovered that there was little if any, easily accessible legal support available for those caring for or working with these children. The fact that certain sections of the Children’s Act were only implemented in 2010 meant:
• It was open to interpretation e.g. social workers and Magistrates sometimes had conflicting understandings of the Act.
• It made professionals nervous to take bold steps e.g. where it should have been argued for adoption, the child was left in foster care as this was the easier option.
• There was not enough training on the Act especially in outlying areas and some professionals simply chose to ignore the Children’s Act e.g. in the eyes of some social workers the mothers rights often superseded the children’s rights notwithstanding that the child was in need of care.
• Lack of resources required to implement this Act resulted in unnecessary delays e.g. court process.
• There was often insufficient accountability on behalf of those that made decisions about the welfare of a child.
• Private legal challenge was too expensive.
The need to establish a Legal Unit was obvious. We could not render a service to these children without including comprehensive legal support.
The aim of the Ulutho Legal Unit is to provide advice, training and advocacy.
• Advice would incorporate accepting cases for individual children whose rights were not protected (in other words, conducting trials on their behalf) and to provide legal advice to NGO’s working with or caring for these children.
• Training would include accredited 2 day training for social workers on the Children’s Act. It would also entail work-shops/ discussion groups for all stakeholders (Police and Magistrate Court officials) on portions of the Children’s Act.
• Advocacy would include lobbying Provincial and National Government Departments to highlight the legal issues confronting OVC’s and the need for greater support. It would also include facilitation between different stakeholders and especially between Justice Department and Social Welfare in order to foster liaison for improved working relationships and to help overcome delays in the system.
Social Work Unit
Ulutho social workers provide the following services:
1) They encourage families to open their homes to orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC).
They do this by hosting work-shops, facilitating awareness campaigns and presenting at community
forums and churches.
2) They introduce and refer the families to the relevant statutory organisations
who provide alternative care services.
3) They facilitate Adoption/ Foster Support Groups for these families and offer counselling to them.
4) Offer physical support which includes the collection of nursery items, clothes and toys.
Our social workers also assist the Legal Unit with the following services:
1) Training on the Children’s Act 38 of 2005.
2) Facilitation between different stake-holders. Examples include
a) Child protection services
b) Social workers and the Department of Social Development.
c) Children’s Court
3) Legal cases
How to get involved:
Ulutho OVC Program is a program of IYDSA. IYDSA which is a Non Profit Organisation and a Public Benefit
Beneficiary Name: Institute for Youth Development (Ulutho Account)
Name of Bank First National Bank
Branch Name: Southernwood East London
Branch Code: 210221
Account Code: 62369235546
Type of Account: Cheque
Reference: Ulutho OVC Program
NPO No: 039-776-NPO
PBO Reference No: 930017284
Income Tax Reference No: 9006/428/16/4
Company Registration No: 2003/023877/08
Vat Registration No: 4630216218
Organisation has Section 18A tax exemption status.
Financial sponsorship is just one way to participate in Ulutho’s vision.
We welcome any form of donation including:
• Consumables e.g. baby formula, nappies, baby food etc.
• Provision of services e.g. baking of birthday cakes, cooking meals, sewing of clothing and bedding etc.
• Professional support e.g. legal, medical, dental, or educational services.
• Collection of second-hand baby cots, baths, toys, clothes etc.
Program needs that can be supported include:
1) Transport for social workers
2) Administration requirements e.g. manuals
3) Training requirements e.g. training seminars to social workers, other professionals and care-givers
Join arms with us to create awareness and build a network of parents and communities that bring life, healing and love to the precious children of SOUTH AFRICA.
Jill Pedersen: 074 134 2558
Ingrid Ahlfeldt: 082 550 9039
For social work queries and to join in with Ulutho events feel free to contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you specifically need legal advice contact the East London team (email@example.com)
Website: www. ulutho.co.za/