Pietermaritzburg Child Welfare

On the Thursday of the 26th of July Ms Kholiwe Songelwa, a prevention social worker from the Pietermaritzburg Child Welfare came to address the teachers regarding some of the social issues that are relevant to teachers in Pietermaritzburg. Kholiwe informed the teachers about their role and responsibility when they know about a child involved in or affected by a social issue. Particularly what steps should teachers take to report or address these issues, who they can contact and how can they help.

During the workshop, Kholiwe explained that PMB Child Welfare works with families and children under the age of 13, to ensure that the rights and welfare of children are protected. They also work closely with other organisations. Kholiwe discussed how each of the five departments at PMB Child welfare work. These five departments include prevention, foster care, adoption, SNP, and kinship. Ms Songelwa, works specifically in the prevention department. In this department, the social workers strive to prevent abuse and neglect for children. In this department the social workers investigate cases referred to them by childline in Durban, and will remove children in abusive or dangerous situations to a place of safety.

In the workshop Ms Songelwa also described the steps that can be taken if a teacher suspects that a child is in danger. To make a referral, the teachers will first need to get a signed affidavit from a police station, and then they can anonymously drop this off at the Child Welfare site, or call in directly.

Ms Songelwa also added which areas of Pietermaritzburg their institution serves and where teachers can go if their area is not covered. Ms Songelwa also briefly touched on places learners can go for a meal and the possible implementation of a feeding scheme.

Thank you very much Ms Kholiwe Songelwa and the PMB Child Welfare for coming to talk with us and empowering our teachers.

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