What is Foster Care?
Foster care is a way of providing a family life for children who cannot live with their own parents. All over the world, foster families open their hearts to children in need, and share their family life with them. It can be child/children who have no parents due to death or other reasons. So foster care is a system in which a minor has been placed into a ward, group home, or private home of a state-certified caregiver, referred to as a “foster parent”. The placement of the child is normally arranged through the government or a social service agency.
How are the children or fostered child being supported and who support them financially?
There is a ‘foster child grant’
This grant is given under the following category:
• at risk
What to do in order to qualify for the grant?
• Be South African citizen, permanent resident or refugee and the child must live in South Africa
• The foster child must be legally placed in your care and the child must remain in your care
• The child must be younger than 18
How much money is it for this grant?
It is R890 per month, per child.
How is it received?
The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) will pay the grant through one of the following methods:
• cash at a specific pay point on a particular day
• electronic deposit into a bank or Postbank account (the bank may charge for the service)
• an institution acting as the administrator of the grant (e.g. a welfare organisation).
• Note: If a person is unable to collect the money yourself, they can appoint a procurator at the SASSA office, or give someone power of attorney to collect the grant on your behalf.
When may your grant be reviewed?
The grant will be reviewed on expiry of the court order. Currently this is every two years. The grant recipient would be advised three months in advance of the need to review the grant. If they receive the money through the bank, an institution or procurator, it is required to fill in a life certificate (a document to prove that you are still alive) at a SASSA office every year.
When may your grant be suspended?
The following may result in the suspension of your grant:
• a change in the person’s circumstances
• the outcome of a review
• if you fail to co-operate when your grant is reviewed
• when you commit fraud or misrepresent yourself
• if there was a mistake when your grant was approved.
When will your grant lapse?
The grant will lapse:
• in the case of death of the child or the last living foster parent
• in the case of admission of the child to a state institution
• if the grant is not claimed for three consecutive months
• when you are absent from the country
• if the child is no longer in your foster care
• if you are not a refugee any more.
What one do should do then?
• Go to the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) office nearest to where you live and bring the following:
• Your 13 digit-bar-coded identity document (ID) and the birth certificate for the child.
• If you are a refugee, your status permit and refugee ID.
• If you don’t have your ID or the child’s birth certificate:
• Complete an affidavit on a standard SASSA format in the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths who is not a SASSA official.
• Bring a sworn statement signed by a reputable person (like a councillor, traditional leader, social worker, minister of religion or school principal) who knows you and the child.
• The SASSA official will take your fingerprints. You will be referred to the Department of Home Affairs to apply for the ID even as your application is processed. If you don’t get an ID, your grant will be suspended.
• Submit proof that you have applied for an ID and/or birth certificate at the Department of Home Affairs.
• Submit a temporary ID issued by the Department of Home Affairs (if applicable).
• Present a baptismal certificate if available.
• Submit a road to health clinic card if available
• if the child is at school, the child’s school certificate.
• Birth certificate/s of the child/ children, or their identity documents from their country of origin
• Court order that placed the child in your care
• Proof of your marital status.
• Complete the application form in the presence of the SASSA officer (note that only you as the applicant or a SASSA official can complete the application form).
• You will be given a receipt. Keep it as proof that you applied.
• What if your application is not approved?
If your application is not approved, SASSA will inform you in writing why your application was unsuccessful. If you disagree with the decision, you can appeal to the Minister of Social Development at the national office of the Department of Social Development. You must appeal within 90 days of being notified that your application was unsuccessful.
How long does it take?
It may take up to three months to process your application.
If your application is approved, you will be paid from the date the court placed the child in your care.
How much does it cost?
The service is free.
Which forms to complete?
The application form is not available online, but you can get it at your nearest (SASSA) office.
Who to contact?
South African Social Security Agency (SASSA)
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