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Adoptions and foster care placements

Children at Durbanville Children’s Home are between the ages of two and 18 and most of them are in contact with parents or other family members.

Durbanville Children’s Home does not facilitate adoptions. However, Magdalena Huis, another BADISA programme in Boston, could assist prospective parents with adoptions and can be contacted on 021 948 3637 or 021 949 1656.

Durbanville Children’s Home does not facilitate foster care placements. In order to gain more information about foster care placements, kindly contact:

Past residents at Durbanville Children’s Home

It is important to note that Durbanville Children’s Home can only assist with queries about children who were previously at the Home when provided with the child’s correct name, surname and date of birth.

Children who were previously living at the Home are welcome to visit the Home and read their files. However, this is done strictly by appointment with a notice period of at least two weeks. Please contact the Home’s social work team on 021 975 6822 in order to make an appointment with a social worker who will then source the relevant files from the archive and sit in on the appointment. Appointments may only be scheduled during office hours.

The details for children who were adopted and whose surnames have since changed must be requested from the Registrar of Births and Deaths in Pretoria. Durbanville Children’s Home also cannot assist with locating siblings or children who were in the Home very long ago. Finding this information is rather complicated as the Home often only has a placement address to work from. Your cooperation and understanding in this regard is appreciated.

Community service, student queries and school projects

Durbanville Children’s Home is very grateful for interest from students and schools and their enthusiasm to become involved with the Home. However, unfortunately there is limited space available at the Home each term. Therefore students are allowed on a “first come, first served” basis. Students who cannot be accommodated at Durbanville Children’s Home are referred elsewhere. Students are also welcome and encouraged to attend information sessions held at the Home on the last Tuesday of every month in order to obtain information for projects. See details of information sessions below.

Information sessions

In order to become a volunteer at Durbanville Children’s Home, interested parties need to attend a compulsory information session at the Home at 18:30 on the last Tuesday of every month from January to October. This is the first step to becoming a volunteer and all are welcome at the sessions without prior confirmation.

Does Durbanville Children’s Home take children from all religions?

Durbanville Children’s Home cares for all children in need, irrespective of their religious backgrounds.

How are children admitted to Durbanville Children's Home and are homeless children accommodated?

Orphaned and abandoned children in South Africa are placed with the organisation that best meets the needs of each child. This is determined by the Children’s Court.

Do the children have to leave the children's home when they turn 18?

Provision is made in the Children’s Act for young people to obtain permission from the Department of Social Development to remain in the Children’s Home until the end of the year in which they turn 21 if the continued stay in the Children’s Home is necessary to enable that person to complete his or her education or training.

Why is Durbanville Children's Home built and equipped to such a high standard?

Not only do all facilities at Durbanville Children’s Home meet the minimum requirements stipulated in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, but staff at the Home also believes in offering children every opportunity to reach their full potential. In order to achieve this, only the best quality is offered in all aspects ranging from accommodation to education. As a result, children from Durbanville Children’s Home have even represented South Africa in several different disciplines.

Does Durbanville Children’s Home receive any government assistance?

Durbanville Children’s Home does receive a government subsidy per capita. In order to receive this subsidy, the Home has to draw up an annual service plan and achieve certain contractually agreed outcomes and outputs.

How are caregivers trained?

All the caregivers at Durbanville Children’s Home receive residential training for a period of four months before they can become assistant caregivers. Only after two to three years with Durbanville Children’s Home and further training as well as a complete evaluation of their capabilities, are caregivers given the opportunity to take full responsibility for children at the Home.

Why are caregivers mostly women instead of couples acting as parental units?

In the event of a couple being employed instead of an individual, there is a stronger likelihood that the couple will have their own biological children who would also have to be accommodated at the Home. Such a situation would be costly to Durbanville Children’s Home and also take up limited space for children in need. The possibility also exists that, in such a situation, the unit’s ‘mother’ may give preference to her own biological children. It is important to note that the Durbanville Children’s Home model has been in existence for the past 132 years and results have shown no evidence that children are in any way disadvantaged by being raised by only one parent.

Are children presented with any male role models?

Several male employees are employed at Durbanville Children’s Home. At present there is also a male manager employed at the Home. These men act as strong role models for the children and assist in the holistic development of the child. There are also three male childcare workers at the Home.

Do any of the children at the home have AIDS?

Durbanville Children’s Home does not, and is not allowed to, test children for AIDS before they are accepted into the Home. Once the Home has become the child’s legal guardian, testing is only done if symptoms are displayed in order to give the child access to the best possible medical treatment. As a preventative measure, caregivers are trained to treat all children in the same way from the beginning of their stay. An example is the use of gloves at all times when treating wounds. This eliminates any noticeable differences should a child have a positive AIDS diagnosis.

How does the home address the current global HIV/AIDS crisis?

Durbanville Children’s Home operates a range of family strengthening programmes based on the principles of family development planning.

Are visitors welcome at Durbanville Children's Home?

Visitors are welcome at Durbanville Children's Home. However, in order to minimise any disruptions of the Home’s routine and schooling or sporting activities, prior arrangements have to be made ahead of visits.

How can interested parties help children at the home?

Children at Durbanville Children’s Home always need caring individuals to share the responsibility for their well-being now and in future. All contributions make it possible for the Home to help and educate children to help themselves in the future, instead of leaving them to their own devices and a life of hopelessness and poverty. Contributions can be made in any of the following ways:

  • Monthly contributions through the Sponsor a Child project
  • Sponsorship of a specific project
  • Donations of any amount
  • Bequests and legacies

How to apply to be a volunteer?

The first step for anyone wanting to become involved in our volunteer programme is to attend one of our compulsory information sessions which are held on the last Tuesday of every month except December. The information sessions begin at 18:30 until 19:30 at the Durbanville Children’s Home, and all aspects of our volunteer programme are discussed. We also hand out application forms and we explain the various processes and procedures that follow. Unfortunately it is not possible to obtain an application form in any other way. You have to please attend an information session first.

The following documents are required when applying to be part of our volunteer programme:

  • Completed application form (handed out at info sessions only) with three contactable references
  • A certified copy of your ID
  • A valid police clearance certificate

We have a separate recruitment process for international volunteers. Please contact the volunteer manager for more information. <link to contact details>

Why is it necessary to obtain a Police Clearance Certificate?

If you are interested in working with children, please know that before you begin working as a volunteer you will need to hand in a valid police clearance certificate along with your other application documents. Police clearance certificates are a legal requirement of the South African Child Care Act and must be adhered to. These certificates are essential in ensuring the safety of our children, which is our first priority at all times.

How do I obtain a Police Clearance Certificate?

Applying for and obtaining a police clearance certificate is the responsibility of the individual. You can apply at most police stations, and Durbanville Police Station is also able to assist you with your application. The certificates cost R96 and take approximately six weeks to process. The police station will require your ID document and your fingerprints will be taken.