The Western Cape Department of Social Development has reunited a 4 year old boy with his family after he was found wandering around Plumstead cemetery alone.
The child was spotted by a resident on Saturday who took the boy to the SAPS Diep River police station, who in turn contacted the department’s social workers for urgent assistance.
The boy was neat and well cared-for, and was assessed by social workers as showing no signs of abuse. The child was able to provide some information regarding his family, and gave the names of both his maternal and paternal grandparents.
The social workers stayed at the police station with the toddler in the hopes that his family would show up, however the decision was eventually taken to temporarily place the child in a safe home for the evening whilst efforts to trace his family were ongoing.
The following day (Sunday) police alerted social workers to a call made by the family regarding their missing grandchild, and social workers immediately went to the family to interview the grandparents and assess the situation. The maternal grandmother admitted she lost sight of the child after being distracted by other family members at the burial service they were attending at the cemetery. Surrounded by family, she mistakenly thought the boy was travelling with them, and was in the care of other relatives. Despite this, the department’s social workers stressed the importance of vigilance in the care of children to the maternal grandmother.
The department subsequently arranged an appointment with both the maternal and paternal grandparents. After an assessment and consultation, social workers recommended the child be placed in the care of the paternal grandparents. Consideration of access for the maternal grandparents is yet to be finalized.
The department’s social workers will monitor this arrangement strictly.
Ensuring the safety and care of children requires a whole-of-society approach. Residents can report any neglected children to the Department of Social Development Hotline 0800 220 250, or at any of our Regional Offices closest to them.
Tel: 021 483 9217
Cell: 083 280 9199
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS