Following an incident of a baby found dumped in a maize meal bag in Belfast, MEC for Social Development, Lindiwe Ntshalintshali, has condemned the act and warned that it is a criminal offence.
She appealed to all expectant mothers who are unable to take care of their babies, to seek assistance at their nearest Social Development Offices or Child Designated Non-Profit-Organisations to speak to Social Workers who may assist with information about options suitable to the individual’s circumstances.
“Each one of us has a responsibility to protect children and a duty to report cases of children in need of care, including abandonment. Report cases of Child abandonment at local Social Development Office and at your Local Police Station.”
“One of the alternative care options that the department renders to children in need of protection, including abandoned children, is adoption which gives them a permanent or a stable family life,” said Ntshalintshali.
“We would also like to make an appeal to the mother to this baby, to come forward so that she could also be assisted by our Social Workers.”
She added that adoption services are rendered by qualified social workers who are registered by the South African Council for Social Service Professionals (SACSSP) to render adoption services, as well as organisations that are accredited by the department.
“If members of the public need advice on the choices available to pregnant mothers, they can contact their area social worker or the nearest offices,” appealed Ntshalintshali.