System fails our children

Alison Alexander, Goodwood

In response to your article (“System failing vulnerable children,” Northern News, July 6) I agree wholeheartedly that our system is indeed failing our children.

We have so many cases that we can refer to of children who were reunited with their families after a removal of three to six months from their parents.

The question I keep asking is why were these children removed in the first place? Surely, very few, if any parents, get their “act together” within three to six months? This after gross abuse.

I keep a file on each child who enters and leaves Rainbow House, and, if allowed to, we keep in touch with these children – only those who have been placed in foster care and/or adopted are ever in a better space. Sad to say, those who were reunited with their families are now worse than before and we are only a small number of children.

One wonders what happens provincially. It’s a sad state of affairs when social development punts family reunification, but does not have the capacity to do this. It would be too long a letter to mention cases of which I have proof of.

I regrettably cannot agree with Sihle Ngobese – he should specify where these services are situated, as I know of so many kids who are not even attending school after they were reunited with their parents, which, in my mind, means that the cycle of poverty and neglect are once again full circle.

Any child wants to be with their parents, whether it is good or bad for them. However, it is not always in the best interests of the child to be with the parent, even if this is what the child wants.

Once a child has been groomed by their parents, especially with regards to sexual abuse, how can that child know what is good and bad?

Surely, there has to be a “voice” for that child, and that “voice” should be the social system and/or the judicial system.

Sadly, it is the child who has been groomed whose voice is heard, and the abuse continues.

Why am I at Rainbow House? I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something with regards to child abuse, neglect and poverty, then I realised, I am somebody.