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Children's Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005)


General Regulations Regarding Children, 2010

Chapter 11 : Children in Need of Care and Protection (Sections 150-160 of the Act)

55. Report by designated social worker


(1) A report by a designated social worker compiled in terms of section 155(2) of the Act must be in a form identical to Form 38 and must—
(a) contain an introduction and personal details of the social worker;
(b) reflect a history of and background to the matter to be decided by the children's court;
(c) give reasons for the removal of the child, if applicable;
(d) address any relevant factors referred to in section 150 of the Act;
(e) contain details of previous interventions and family preservation services that have been considered or attempted;
(f) contain an evaluation of the matter to be decided by the children's court;
(g) indicate whether, after investigation, the child concerned is considered to be in need of care and protection;
(h) contain a recommendation as to which order or orders in terms of section 156 of the Act, including an order in terms of section 46 of the Act, would be appropriate to the child;
(i) list sources of information;
(j) contain recommendations, where necessary, regarding measures to assist the child's parent, guardian or care-giver, including—
(i) counselling;
(ii) mediation;
(iii) prevention and early intervention services;
(iv) family reconstruction and rehabilitation;
(v) behaviour modification;
(vi) problem solving; and
(vii) referral to another suitably qualified person or organisation;
(k) contain an assessment of the therapeutic, educational, cultural, linguistic, developmental, socio-economical and spiritual needs of the child; and
(l) address any written request by a presiding officer to the designated social worker concerned.


(2) A permanency plan must explore the following options, taking into account that the first option is the most desirable and the last option the least desirable:
(a) If the child is to be removed from the care of his or her parent, guardian or care-giver, the possibility of placing the child in foster care with relatives or non-relatives as geographically close to the parent or care-giver as possible to encourage visiting by the parent or care-giver;
(b) the possibility of adoption of the child by relatives;
(c) the possibility of a relative or relatives obtaining guardianship of the child;
(d) the possibility of adoption of the child by non-relatives, preferably of similar ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds; or
(e) the possibility of placing the child in foster care with relatives or non-relatives or with a cluster foster care scheme.


(3) A permanency plan approved by a children's court must, unless the children's court, in terms of section 157(1)(b)(v) of the Act, directs otherwise, be evaluated by the social worker concerned within six months of its implementation and thereafter at intervals of six months with a view to establishing, unless he or she had been adopted or placed in foster care, whether the child may be returned to the care of his or her parent or care-giver.