The perceptions of social workers regarding the rights of children to care and protection

Ndonga, Moreblessing Memory (2016-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In accordance with the White Paper for Social Welfare (Ministry of Welfare and Population Development, 1997), the Integrated Service Delivery Model (Department of Social Development, 2006), and the Children’s Act (Act 38 of 2005), social workers are required to focus first on rendering preventative services and then early intervention services to prevent the rendering of statutory services in the care and protection of children. This implies that in protecting the rights of children to care and protection, social workers should focus on preventing the unnecessary removal of children from their families through the delivery of preventative and early intervention services which could effectively enhance the family functioning. The research study therefore investigated the perceptions of social workers regarding the rights of children to care and protection. A qualitative research methodology was used to involve social workers employed at non- governmental and government organisations in the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality in the study that was based on both an explorative and descriptive research design. For the aim of the research study, the researcher used purposeful non-probability sampling. Twenty two social workers that met the inclusion criteria of the research study were selected according to their willingness to participate. A semi-structured interview schedule was used to collect the data during the empirical investigation and a pilot study was implemented to test the measuring instrument with three participants. A literature study aimed at describing the rights of children to protection and care within the context of South African policy documents and legislation from a rights-based perspective, as well as the services rendered by social workers in protecting the rights of children to care and protection, and the challenges faced by social workers in executing these services, was completed. Thereafter an empirical investigation was done and the results were then purposefully processed and analysed. Through processing and analysing the results, the researcher was able to come up with certain conclusions and recommendations concerning social work practice with regards to the rights of children to care and protection from a rights-based perspective. Stellenbosch University https://scholar.sun.ac.za 5 The most important conclusion resulting from the research study indicates that social workers in child and family welfare organisations strongly focus on the delivery of statutory services at the expense of preventative and early intervention services in the care and protection of children. These social workers seem to be denying the parents, who are struggling to care for and protect their children, the rights to intervention, as well as the rights of children to social services, which when rendered properly, should enable parents to care for and protect their children, thereby reducing the need for the removal of children from their families. Certain challenges were identified in this research study as hampering the delivery of preventative and early intervention services by social workers in the care and protection of children. Therefore, the study recommends that community resources (facilities) and organisational resources (cars, computers, office space, funds and manpower) should be made available in communities as well as in child and family welfare organisations for utilisation by social workers. The resources are necessary to improve the delivery of social services to children in order to protect their rights to care and protection. In addition it is recommended that social workers should receive on-going in-service training with regards to the implementation of policies and legislation protecting the rights of children to care and protection and that the salaries of social workers be reviewed to ensure better job satisfaction. Furthermore it is recommended that social workers endeavour by all means to adhere to the requirements set out in the South African policy documents.

AFRIKAANS OPSOMMING: Kragtens die Witskrif vir Maatskaplike Welsyn (Departement van Welsyn en Bevolkingsontwikkeling, 1997), die Geïntegreerde Diensleweringsmodel (Departement van Sosiale Ontwikkeling, 2006) en die Kinderwet (Wet 38 van 2005) word daar van maatskaplike werkers verwag om eerstens op die lewering van voorkomende dienste te fokus en dan op die lewering van vroeë intervensie dienste om sodoende die lewering van statutêre dienste te voorkom as deel van die sorg en beskerming van kinders. Dit impliseer dat maatskaplike werkers in die beskerming van die regte van kinders tot sorg en beskerming, daarop moet fokus om die onnodige verwydering van kinders vanuit hul gesinne te vermy deur voorkomende en vroeë intervensie dienste te verskaf, aangesien dit tot die doelmatige versterking van die funksionering van die gesin kan lei. Die navorsingstudie het dus die insigte van maatskaplike werkers rakende die regte van kinders tot sorg en beskerming ondersoek. ’n Kwalitatiewe navorsingsmetodologie is toegepas om maatskaplike werkers wat by nie- regeringsorganisasies en regeringsorganisasies in die Buffalostad Metropolitaanse Munisipaliteit werksaam is, by die studie wat op beide ’n ondersoekende en beskrywende navorsingsontwerp gebaseer is, te betrek. Vir die doel van die navorsingstudie het die navorser van doelgerigte nie-waarskynlikheidssteekproefneming gebruik gemaak. Twee- en-twintig maatskaplike werkers wat aan die insluitingskriteria van die navorsingstudie voldoen het, is volgens hul bereidwilligheid om deel te neem, gekies. Tydens die empiriese ondersoek is ’n semi-gestruktureerde onderhoudskedule gebruik om die data in te samel en ’n loodsstudie is geïmplementeer om die meetinstrument met drie deelnemers te toets. ’n Literatuurstudie is voltooi waarin die regte van kinders tot beskerming en sorg binne die konteks van Suid-Afrikaanse beleidsdokumente en wetgewing vanuit ’n regsgebaseerde benadering, asook die dienste gelewer deur maatskaplike werkers in die beskerming van die regte van kinders tot sorg en beskerming, en die uitdagings waaraan maatskaplike werkers blootgestel word met die lewering van die dienste, beskryf word. Dit is gevolg deur ’n empiriese ondersoek waarvan die resultate doelbewus verwerk en ontleed is. Deur die verwerking en die ontleding van die resultate kon die navorser sekere gevolgtrekkings en aanbevelings maak ten opsigte van die maatskaplike werkspraktyk, wat betref die regte van kinders tot beskerming en sorg vanuit ’n regsgebaseerde perspektief.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98703
This item appears in the following collections: