Suffer the children of Buffalo City

CMR to take over after Child Welfare forced to close doors

AFTER 102 years of service to the community, Child Welfare East London (CWF) officially closed its doors on March 31.

The non-profit organisation fought a tough battle through the increasingly difficult economic climate, which saw a dwindling donor base while simultaneously plunging more children than ever before into need.

Budget cuts, economic financial strain, staff turnover and multiple changes in leadership are among some of the reasons the organisation can no longer afford to operate.

The biggest factor is the lack of financial support the organisation has endured over an extended period of time.

“The funds needed to run Child Welfare East London are roughly R300000 per month. As an NPO, the organisation needed to raise much of this money which regrettably was not achieved and resulted in Child Welfare being under extreme financial constraints,” said CWF board secretary Elaine Brenkman.

Child Welfare East London was started in 1916 by churches and women’s societies as a women’s and girls’ shelter. It later developed into a child protection organisation.

Through the organisation thousands of children have been legally and successfully placed in foster families or homes. Social workers have provided supervisory services with a focus on family reunification and many preventative initiatives were also undertaken by Child Welfare East London.

Going forward, the Christelike Maatskaplike Raad (CMR) will take over the child protection services within the greater Buffalo City area, with adoption archives to be stored at Child Welfare South Africa’s national office.

CMR was established in 1955 and provides child protection, prevention and early intervention services, aiding children and families in East London.

The organisation also runs a safe house for abused women and their children, Victory House, as well as an extensive home food security programme sponsored by Wesbank.

“We trust that CMR will be able to continue providing great service to the community and continue ensuring vulnerable children are well looked after,” said Brenkman.

The Social Development Department had not responded to requests for comment at the time of going to press.

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