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Department of Social Development Leaders

Minister for Social Development
Deputy Minister for Social Development
Acting Director General

About the Children’s Services Directory Project

In 2011 the Department of Social Development (DSD) launched the Children’s Services Directory (CSD) which is a resource of provincial organizations serving orphans and vulnerable children. University Research South Africa (URSA) was awarded a contract by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in June 2012 to provide technical support to the DSD to update, maintain, develop DSD capacity to sustain the CSD, making it a viable, fully functional national resource that is actively enabling vulnerable children to access services they need.

 The specific objectives of the CSD Project are:

• To provide support services to the (DSD) for the Children’s Services Directory 
• To promote the maintenance and sustainability of the Children’s Services Directory; and
• To increase the prognosis for sustainability of the CSD.

URSA is working in collaboration with the national Department of Social Development (DSD) to raise awareness of the public on the CSD and increase local capacity to use the CSD through networking and targeting services for vulnerable children and their households.

Why the Children’s Services Directory?

The Government of South Africa has made the needs of all vulnerable children a priority by mounting a multi-sectoral response that involves most government departments, civil society and international donors to ensure that appropriate mechanisms and services are in place to offer concrete support to vulnerable children. In 2006 it was estimated that 3.7 million children had lost one or both parents.  Whilst some of these children enjoy the care and support of extended family, the estimated number of those children who have become orphaned and vulnerable stood at 1.5 million as in October 2008.  Orphaned and vulnerable children experience a wide range of challenges due to poor health, poverty, inadequate care, lack of social support and many other reasons. Access to quality services and supports is critical to their survival, protection and development.

How will the Children’s Services Directory help children in need?

The Children’s Services Directory is designed to help caregivers, service providers and community members access services for vulnerable children in every province of South Africa.

The Children’s Services Directory aims to:

 Help children and their caregivers identify and locate services,
 Inform government and donors on the availability of services for children, and
 Facilitate networking and referrals among service providers.

The information in the Children’s Services Directory includes service providers   registered with the Department of Social Development as non-profit organizations. These are organizations that provide services and support to vulnerable children in each district, within each province in South Africa. Organizations have been categorized by geographic location .Users will be able to identify local municipalities and areas where these organizations are located.

For each organization, the Directory provides a general overview describing types of services rendered as well as full contact details.

In addition, supplementary information is provided on how to apply for registration as a non-profit organization, how to apply for a grant as well as other useful emergency numbers.

How will information on the Children’s Services Directory be available?

The information in the directory will be disseminated via multiple channels:

 Hard copy directories
 Web site
 Short message service(SMS) text querying systems

Status of the Children’s Service Directory

Currently work is being done to update the CSD, the training of partners in all the provinces on the verification process was done and the verification has begun in all 9 provinces. URSA has partnered with provincial NGOs that have allocated Field Workers to visit each and every site listed on the current CSD for verification purposes. Field workers make appointments with organisations before conducting a site visit. The verification process began in June 2013 and will end in April 2014. The following organisations are conducting the verification process: Kwa Zulu Natal: FAMSA Durban, Gauteng: Childline Gauteng, North West: Childline North West, Northern Cape: Childline Northern Cape, Mpumalanga: Childline Mpumalanga, Limpopo: FAMSA Limpopo, Free State: Child Welfare Bloemfontein Childline Free State, Eastern Cape: Ulutho, FAMSA Boarder and Umthatha Child Abuse Resource Centre (UCARC) and Western Cape: FAMSA Western Cape. Once the verification process has been completed, updated information will be uploaded and will be freely available to the public
The CSD is not yet available electronically whilst the verification process is under way. The SMS version is also not active as yet.

How does one use the CSD?

URSA will be working with the Department of Social Development and USAID to educate the community as well as children on how to access and utilize the Children’s Services Directory. Information on how to use the Directory will be made available through a number of awareness raising events organized nationally, provincially and at district level.

What can you do to support the aims of the Children’s Services Directory?

• If you are a registered NPO serving vulnerable children, check if your organization’s details are in the 2011 CSD. 

 If your organization is not listed please notify us by email to:

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• Cooperate with site verification Field Workers from your province;
• Share information about the CSD with other people;
• Be on the look-out for latest news and information on the CSD by visiting the following websites: