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


General Regulations Regarding Children, 2010


Annexure B : National Norms and Standards (Sections 79;94;106;147;194 and 216 of the Act)

Part IV : National Norms and Standards for Prevention and Early Intervention Programmes


For the purposes of section 147(2) of the Act, the following are national norms and standards for prevention and early intervention programmes:


(1) Outreach services


Outreach services must—

(a) be aimed at reaching out to especially vulnerable children and families in order to meet the needs of the children;
(b) be aimed at meeting the needs of children in the context of family and community;
(c) be aimed at the development of community-based services and facilities to promote safety and well-being of children in communities;
(d) ensure that children and families are able to access documents, including birth certificates, to facilitate access to social security and other social services;
(e) be accessible to children in different settings, including homes, schools and partial care facilities;
(f) ensure that children and their families have access to resources that maximize strengths and develop new capacities that promote resilience and increase their ability to benefit from existing developmental opportunities;
(g) provide opportunities for children to identify their needs in their communities;
(h) be based on a multi-disciplinary and inter-sectoral approach;
(i) promote the identification of children at high risk of getting into the child care or criminal justice system;
(j) include home-based care, community-based care, home visitation and community outreach support to particularly vulnerable children and families, including children and family members infected and affected by HIV/Aids and other chronic illnesses, children with disabilities and orphans;
(k) teach communities to recognise the signs of abuse and deliberate neglect of children and the risk factors associated with abuse and neglect;
(l) utilize community strengths and resources to promote neighbourhoods that enable the safety and well-being of children;
(m) be aimed at addressing community risk factors including abuse, violence, substance abuse and crime;
(n) be conducted in a non-discriminatory manner; and
(o) be sensitive to language, religious, cultural norms and beliefs of communities.


(2) Education, information and promotion programmes


Education, information and promotion programmes must—

(a) provide education and awareness on children's rights and responsibilities;
(b) promote the importance of the early years, particularly early childhood development;
(c) promote advocacy for the rights of children as well as for the needs of the most vulnerable children and families;
(d) provide children and families with information and assistance on how to access the full range of government and civil society services available to vulnerable families and children; including health, social services, education, housing, water, electricity, food parcels, disaster relief and social assistance;
(e) provide information and support to high risk families;
(f) provide information and support to families affected by HIV/Aids and other chronic illnesses;
(g) provide information and support to families of children with disabilities;
(h) use available media and other communication measures;
(i) be delivered in the language of the target groups;
(j) provide information on the nature and type of services to children, families and communities;
(k) promote values aimed at protecting children in their communities;
(l) be provided in the language of particular communities and be sensitive to the cultural values and norms of such communities;
(m) promote opportunities for community dialogue on matters pertaining to children; and
(n) provide information on community risk factors and available resources to address them.


(3) Therapeutic programmes


Therapeutic programmes must—

(a) provide psychosocial care and support to children and families;
(b) promote the emotional well-being and growth of the child;
(c) be appropriate to the developmental needs as well as the developmental stage of the child;
(d) be delivered in an emotionally and physically safe environment and not harmful to the child;
(e) must be conducted by service providers with appropriate training, support, supervision and mentoring;
(f) be based on the assessment of the particular needs of each individual child and family;
(g) assist recipients to use their strengths whilst they are assisted with their psychosocial needs;
(h) be conducted in a non-discriminatory manner;
(i) involve the child, his or her family and significant persons;
(j) ensure that recipients are provided with a name and contact number of the service provider;
(k) provide additional consultation and counselling;
(l) ensure that proper records are kept and data captured;
(m) be aimed at minimisation of secondary abuse and trauma;
(n) ensure that recipients are free to express dissatisfaction with service providers and that concerns and complaints are addressed seriously;
(o) be reviewed on a regular basis according to the needs of the recipients; and
(p) be sensitive to the linguistic needs, religious and cultural norms and values of children and their families.


(4) Family preservation


Family preservation must—

(a) be aimed at the identification of high risk families and children;
(b) be aimed at preventing the recurrence of problems in the family environment that may harm children or adversely affect their development;
(c) address factors that put children at risk of imminent removal from their environment;
(d) address the particular needs of families in their diverse forms;
(e) be rendered by service providers with appropriate training, support and supervision to maximise their abilities and capacity to conduct assessments and appropriate interventions;
(f) be intensive in nature and delivered by a multi-disciplinary team within six months; seek to strengthen and support family support structures and render capacity development;
(g) be aimed at improving the well-being and resilience of families;
(h) be home-based and family-centred with family members seen as the main focus;
(i) focus on and utilize the strengths of families;
(j) ensure that family plans are developed with the participation of family members;
(k) teach skills and develop capacity of parents, care-givers and families to address family risk factors;
(l) enhance positive family relations and promote a family climate that promotes the care, protection and development of children;
(m) ensure that children are safe from harm whilst in the family;
(n) promote communication and positive relationships within families;
(o) strengthen extended family as well as neighbourhood and community networks in promoting the well-being of the child;
(p) promote reunification of children with their families;
(q) ensure the participation of children, family members and other significant people in the child's life;
(r) be based on a multi-disciplinary and inter-sectoral approach;
(s) enable families to take responsibility and accountability for their involvement in programmes;
(t) be sensitive to the linguistic needs, religious and cultural norms and values of children and their families; and
(u) have a system for monitoring and assessing impact of programme.


(5) Skills development programmes


Skills development programmes must be—

(a) aimed at improving children's and adult literacy;
(b) aimed at alleviating poverty and its adverse effects on children;
(c) aimed at creating employment and improving family income;
(d) aimed at providing skills to enable them to care for sick and chronically ill children and children with disabilities;
(e) sensitive to the linguistic needs, religious and cultural norms and values of children and their families; and
(f) aimed at parenting skills and capacity development programmes.


(6) Diversion programmes


Diversion programmes must—

(a) promote the child's dignity, well-being, development of sense of self-worth and ability to contribute to society;
(b) be appropriate to the age and maturity of the child;
(c) be based on an assessment of the particular needs of the child, using an approved developmental assessment framework which covers—
(i) detail on risk factors present in the child's life, including—
(aa) social relationships, including family and peer relationships;
(bb) education, including school grade, attendance and performance;
(cc) history of antisocial behaviour;
(dd) substance abuse;
(ee) medical or psychiatric history;
(ff) whether the child has been found in need of care; and
(gg) the child's developmental areas that the programme is designed to address; and
(ii) strength assessment;
(d) not interfere with the child's schooling;
(e) impart useful skills;
(f) not be exploitative, harmful or hazardous to a child's physical or mental health;
(g) include a restorative justice element which aims at healing relationships, including the relationship with the victim;
(h) include an element which seeks to ensure that the child understands the impact of his or her behaviour on others, including the victim of the offence, and may include compensation or restitution;
(i) involve parents and care-givers where available;
(j) be presented in a location which is reasonably accessible to the child;
(k) ensure that a child who cannot afford transport in order to attend selected diversion programme should, as far as it is reasonably possible, be provided with the means to do so;
(l) promote the participation of children in decision-making;
(m) be provided by suitably trained persons, with regular supervision;
(n) have a system for monitoring the child's progress, including his or her compliance with the conditions of a diversion order;
(o) have a system for monitoring the quality of programme delivery;
(p) adhere to national policy guidelines; and
(q) be sensitive to the linguistic needs, religious and cultural norms and values of children and their families.


(7) Temporary safe care


(a) Placement of a child in temporary safe care must be based on the assessment of the needs of the child.
(b) Temporary safe care must promote the safety, security, dignity and well-being of the child.
(c) Temporary safe care service providers must be properly screened and approved in the manner contemplated in regulation 57.
(d) Temporary safe care service providers must demonstrate the ability to deliver an effective and efficient service to the child.
(e) Temporary safe care may not be disruptive to the child's life and regular routine.
(f) Temporary safe care must allow access to the child by relevant persons, including the parent, guardian, care-giver, next of kin or other professional as the need may be, if it is in the best interest of the child.
(g) The identity and location of temporary safe care may not be revealed to the alleged offender or any person not acting in the best interests of the child for the protection of the child.
(h) Temporary safe care must be sensitive to the linguistic needs, religious and cultural norms and values of children and their families.
(i) There must be continuous monitoring and assessment of the well-being of a child in temporary safe care.


(8) Assessment of programmes


Assessment of programmes must—

(a) be undertaken by service providers who have the appropriate training, support and competencies to conduct such assessments;
(b) be conducted annually;
(c) be undertaken in response to any well-founded report or complaint submitted to the provincial head for social development;
(d) enable and facilitate sustained quality service delivery through support, guidance and capacity building;
(e) be strength-based, holistic and appropriate to the cultural context of the programme;
(f) be aimed at promoting decision-making about future programmes;
(g) result in the development of a plan for capacity building and improved service delivery within 30 days of assessment;
(h) be aimed at protecting and promoting the rights of children as contained in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, this Act and other relevant statutes;
(i) monitor adherence to the national norms and standards made in terms of the Act and ensure that decisive and appropriate action is taken where violations of the norms and standards occur;
(j) be done with the participation of children and programme staff;
(k) consider the following factors:
(i) The degree to which the programme reached the intended target;
(ii) the demographic profile of the target group;
(iii) whether recipients are receiving quality services;
(iv) the impact of the intervention on children, families and communities;
(v) the availability and efficient utilisation of programme resources;
(vi) quantitative and qualitative data on targets and services rendered as required by regulatory bodies;
(vii) sustainability of programme efforts;
(viii) ability of staff to implement the programme;
(ix) management function, ability and competency; and
(x) compliance with registration conditions as well as current national statutory financial regulations;
(l) ensure participation of families and communities;
(m) ensure the safety and well-being of children;
(n) be aimed at addressing and meeting the developmental needs of children;
(o) be aimed at building community support for programmes;
(p) ensure that programmes promote positive social values; and
(q) may be conducted by a multi-disciplinary panel.