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Where do your children come from?

• Children are placed in our care by the children’s court. Generally, a child is removed from their living situation by a social worker having determined the child is at risk or is vulnerable. The social worker will then best match the child to a home and capacity dependent. From a Hearts of Hope perspective we do not have restrictive criteria except to say we are not geared up to cater for physically and mentally challenged children. We only accept children older than 4+ as exceptions, in order to keep siblings together and depending on capacity constraints.
• We cannot be approached directly to take children. If there is a vulnerable child in need of care, an adult must make contact with a social worker. There is generally a social worker attached to major police stations. There are also private social workers that can be approached.

Who is responsible for the children?

The children remain wards of the state whilst they are in our care. Hence, we are very cautious in the level of risk we expose the children to – outings, swimming, drivers and the like must be correctly authorized by a director and safety standards such as seat belts in cars must be adhered to.

How do you decide who is accepted into the home?

We don’t decide – if we have capacity and the child fits the acceptance criteria above, we will take the child.

Are any of the children HIV+?

We are not at liberty to reveal the status of any of our children. Some of our children are HIV+ and more have been impacted by HIV/AIDS for example by having lost parents to the disease. Should there be an accident and an open bleeding wound results, we follow international protocols in ensuring the injury is treated and occupational exposure limited.

Do children in your home get adopted?

Yes, many children have either been adopted, or reunited with a family member.

Do some of the children stay with you?

Some of the children have been permanently placed in our care. They will remain under our roof generally to the age of 18 or until their studies are completed. During this time we endeavour to provide the children with an education and a means to support themselves.

How does the adoption process work – who decides what happens to the children?

The adoption process is managed by a professional social worker and ultimately the Children’s Court. We leave this process up to the experts and generally support and cooperate with the statutory processes.

How are you funded?

We are more than 85% privately funded. The government provides the balance. We only provide funding for children placed with us permanently (a lengthy process), and never for foreign, White, Coloured or Indian South Africans. Although we qualify in every way for government funding the onerous and bungled registration process through the Department of Social Development has meant we have not received our full allocation for the past 4 years. We are hoping this will be corrected in 2016.

Where does your money come from?

A relatively small number of corporate donors and a larger number of individual donors and supporters make regular donations of R50+ per month.

How many children do you have in your care?

We are licensed for 34 children. We tend to have 28-34 children in our care at any one time.

How can I get involved?

See “how can I help” and the volunteer guidelines.

Can teenagers do community service at the home?

We do not allow unsupervised community service to be done at the home. Community service can only be done on a Saturday with the consent of the director on duty that day, and should there be appropriate tasks or activities required at the home.

How do I go about adopting a child?

We do not handle adoptions directly. All adoptions need to be channeled via a social worker.