Social Welfare

A high number of clients come with claims for social grants, after trying unsuccessfully for a long time to make a claim. Coordinators refer these cases to the Department of Social Development, making sure that they find out what documents are needed, and where necessary assisting clients to get them, filling in forms for IDs and  accompanying applicants to service points. By the time a client gets to the Department, they have everything for a successful application.

The table below shows the payments obtained by coordinators for clients in the last two years:

Coordinators also ask officials to visit rural areas and receive applications there, arranging for mass processing of applicants. This is often done by arrangement with traditional leaders so that mobile units are invited to certain places at certain days to attend to problems and applications on site. Traditional leaders have been instrumental in ensuring that people with welfare problems are invited and attend.

Coordinators work closely with social workers from Social Development, referring and receiving clients. Many of them are over stretched in their work and are grateful to the coordinators for their help and cooperate willingly with the support centres. Grant client

(Right) A client who received advice on obtaining a grant

Theresa Thusi, May 2008: Helping the Elderly Apply for Pensions

I networked with the Department of Social Development and informed them about the poor family whose 
house had burned down and who are old age pensioners and told them that all their important documents i.e. ID books and cash cards had been destroyed. The supervisor advised me to take sworn statements from the victims and to refer them to the office for renewal of their cash cards. 

Sibongile Mchunu, July 2007: Identifying the Needy for Food Parcels

Pension cartoonGlencoe was one of the lucky villages to be visited by the Social Welfare MEC, Dr Meshack Radebe. I had to identify those who were in need and the poverty-stricken families who were to be granted some food parcels. I also had to identify the physically challenged people who were to be presented with wheelchairs.

I made a list of those people and submitted it to the church pastor. After I had handed my list of names, the social workers conducted home visits to all my clients to make sure that all the clients I had listed were really in need of the food parcels and the wheelchairs.

I was very happy after the social workers’ visits because, of the clients I had listed, all were granted the offer by the MEC. My clients were very happy to have received the groceries and were very thankful to me. The minister also recommended that all the clients who had been granted food parcels should be given them for 6 months.

Thabisile Miya, Nov 2008: Child Neglect – Foster Care Grant Abuse

I attended a meeting with social workers at the Underberg Social Welfare offices after an on-call school visit to Stepmore Primary School. Teachers were complaining about certain children who are neglected and sometimes do not attend school.

These children live alone and are not looked after. They sometimes sleep without food and do not have shoes and school uniforms. Their aunt is their foster mother but she stays in Underberg where she works as a chef.

We decided that the foster care grant should be transferred to another person who will also look after the children. The social worker will collect the file from the Hlanganani welfare office where the foster care grant application was made and the children’s uncle will apply for the grant.Child neglect

Nombuso Ngcobo, Oct 2008: Referring a Suicidal Client to a Social Worker

An unemployed, single female residing in the Tholeni area had an affair with a man who abused her physically, emotionally and sexually. In 2007 he burned down the house that she was living in. A case of arson was opened. She wanted to commit suicide because of the situation with her boyfriend. On 23 October 2008, my client came to the office, referred by a police officer; she wanted to commit suicide.

I counselled my client immediately and gave her support on the domestic violence issue. I also explained the social worker procedure that would enable her to go to a place of safety. I phoned the social worker to explain what had happened and the social worker was very cooperative and found a place of safety for my client at the Dundee Crisis Centre.

On 27 October the case was resolved under the social worker procedure and my client will receive more counselling on suicide.

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