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South Africa: Poor Children who Receive Grants Stay Longer at School and Perform Better
Source: Issued by: Department of Social Development
Source Date: Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Citizen Engagement
Country: South Africa
Created: Jun 26, 2013

This view was supported by Thabani Buthelezi of the Department of Social Development who presented findings of the South African child support grant on poor children. The independent survey commissioned by the Department found, among other things, that children who received a grant were more likely to receive better grades at school, notably in mathematics.

The policy implication for government, said Buthelezi, was that the child support grant must be extended to reach all poor households in South Africa.

Earlier the conference had heard that vulnerable children, especially those born with HIV, need greater psychosocial support to assist them cope better with their conditions and circumstances and supplement social grants.

Dr Connie Kganakga, Chief Director for HIV and AIDS programmes at the Department of Social Development, said while conference acknowledged the good work done by government in extending social grant assistance to vulnerable children, it was important that more attention be given to psychosocial support.

“Conference was clear in agreement that government is doing well in terms of advocacy and the implementation of programmes for vulnerable children, especially around social protection. But there was also agreement that improvement is required in the provision of psychosocial support.

“Children born HIV positive need long term counselling from psychologists and social support from social workers. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be enough psychologists. Hence, the department is training child and youth care workers to meet part of this demand,” explained Kganakga.

The Conference, which ends on Thursday, May 30, is held as part of the commemoration of the National Child Protection Week (CPW) that began on 27 May 2013.

CPW is commemorated in the country annually to raise awareness of the rights of children as articulated in the Children's Act of 2005. The campaign, which began in 1997, also aims to mobilise all sectors of society and communities in the effort of ensuring care and protection for children.
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