Minister granted extension to resolve foster grant crisis
The Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) has granted Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu two years to come up with a comprehensive legal solution to the crisis in the foster care system, reports TimesLIVE.
The court granted an order on Tuesday, at the request of the Minister, to prevent thousands of foster care orders from lapsing and in turn preventing thousands of children from losing their foster child grants.
The Centre for Child Law said in a statement that the ruling placed 'stringent reporting requirements on the Minister, who needs to report to the court and the centre on progress made in implementing the court order every three months'.
The ruling was handed down nearly a decade after a 2011 High Court order was granted to 'keep children from falling off the foster care system', said the centre.
'The Minister has still not finalised and implemented a comprehensive legal solution to deal with the crisis in the foster care system. Currently, approximately 30 000 foster care orders were at risk of lapsing on 28 November and a further 105 000 in 2020.'
The High Court granted a third order in 2017, the first two were obtained in 2011 and extended, preventing foster care orders from lapsing. The deadline of the third order was Friday.
'The litigation started in 2011, when the centre approached the high court asking it to intervene after the foster care system collapsed, resulting in more than 120 000 children losing their grants,' said the statement.
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