Foster-care homes overwhelmed by increase in abandoned babies

SABC News Baby R - Foster-care homes overwhelmed by increase in abandoned babies

Child foster-care homes in Gauteng have been overwhelmed by an increasing number of abandoned babies needing placement. They attribute this to the lockdown regulations which restricted the movement of children in care homes.

Children that would have been adopted or reunited with their families, remained at the homes as adoptions were put on hold during alerts Levels 5 and 4 of the lockdown.

Child care homes have also been struggling financially due to dwindling corporate donations.

In the video below, Gauteng NGOs struggling to cope with abandoned children: 

Last month, the Gauteng Health Department reported that there had been a spike in abandoned babies in hospitals. This year alone, 118 babies have been abandoned at public hospitals.

The department’s Operations Manager, Nadene Grabham, says foster homes are struggling to cope.

“These children that were supposed to go to adoptions or were supposed to be re-united with families are still in our care. Legally, we’re only allowed a certain number of children in our care, meaning that these children that have not gone for adoption have made it a little difficult to keep spaces open for babies that needed placement during lockdown, but we’ve managed so far, but I know that there are a lot of homes that are really struggling, they’re full and still get referrals from hospital and child protection organisations.”

Hotel Hope Ministries founder Oliver Quambush says even though they’re not able to accommodate more children, they try and help through their children’s home networks.

“We’re all overwhelmed, probably. It’s been a very tough period for children’s homes and foster homes, but so far not a single child has been left for an undue period of time in the hospital. Some intakes were delayed because there was just no place, in the same way now that Hotel Hope has had adoptions and or other homes have family reunification, they’ll be spaces available again.”

In the video below, abandoned babies under lockdown: 

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