Question NW2327 to the Minister of Social Development

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06 January 2021 - NW2327

Profile picture: Abrahams, Ms ALA

Abrahams, Ms ALA to ask the Minister of Social Development

What statistics does her department have on the (a) number of children at child and youth care centres in each province that are currently receiving treatment for substance abuse, (b) type of treatment the specified children are receiving, (c)(i) ages and (ii) gender, (d) types of substances, including legal and illegal drugs and alcohol, that the children are addicted to, (e) number of children at the specified centres that were successfully rehabilitated over the past five years and (f) other relevant details on children with substance abuse addictions in the centres?


a) None of the Child and Youth Care Centres is registered to render drug treatment services. Such children are referred to registered treatment centres. Section 28 of the Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Abuse Act (Act 70 of 2008) states that children that are dependent on substances must be treated in separate facilities and apart from adults, whether within treatment centres or facilities designated for children. It further states that any Child and Youth Care Centre (CYCC) that seeks to render treatment services to children who are dependent on substances must comply with conditions for registration, norms and standards for the establishment of treatment centres.

b) Children in the Child and Youth Care Centres (CYCC) specifically Secure Care Programme are children detained in terms of section 191 (2) (h) and (j) who are awaiting trial and or on compulsory residential diversion, sentencing and are receiving therapeutic intervention and Secure care programme as referred through the Child Justice Act, 75 of 2008. The therapeutic interventions are in line to section 191 (3) (b) that is therapeutic and developmental programmes.

In order to select interventions that appear likely to respond to the crime and social problem (s) identified, it important to look at the effective crime prevention practices that have yielded positive results. This is done through the developmental assessment approach wherein the arrested children are assessed by Probation Officers and Social Service Professionals in the secure care programme for identification of their individual personal needs to determine proper intervention either as part of awaiting trial, or compulsory residential diversion and sentencing.

c) The above-mentioned questions are therefore not applicable to children in CYCC, specifically Secure Care programme as the centres are not registered in terms of section 191 (3) ( c) of the Children’s Act which is treatment of children for addiction to dependence-producing substance. This service is already provided for in terms of section 28 of the Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Abuse Act (Act 70 of 2008) for children and must not be duplicated.

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