‘Aunty, how old do I have to be before I can leave the childrenâ€™s home and see my mommy and daddy again?’ The moment when one of the children asked me: was to me, one of the most difficult questions I have ever needed to answer. How does one, at that stage, comfort a child who is struggling with so much fear and anxiety with the question as to whether he will ever again see his parents?
During Augustus 2016 members of the community asked NG WELFARE to investigate a family about whom they all felt concerned. In the process seven (7) children were removed from those two parents. As a social worker, this was my first removal. To me, to have to remove the children was just as traumatic as it was for the family. Two of the social workers and I also shod tears behind a closed door.
The process progressed such that the children were placed back in their parents’ care. It was obvious that the relationship between the parents and me needed to be renewed from scratch. The parents were prepared to do anything in their power to preclude the possibility of the children ever again being removed from their custody. NG WELFARE connected the family with several networks with a view to give them the necessary support to lift themselves out of their circumstances. The biological mother once said that one sometimes needs to experience a ‘scare’ to reach one’s full potential. The family moved from a single-room flat to a lovely plot that was spacious enough for the entire family to each practise their hobby. The father now boasts a store-house loaded with hand-made wooden furniture made from palettes. In the meantime the mother has established a small cafe which she operates from their home, serving as an extra income.
Regardless of what the family has experienced during the past 7 months, their love for one another has served as a beacon for each one and it has motivated them to make the best of what they have been given. In the torn world in which we as social workers struggle on a daily basis to make a difference, this type of case is a story of hope. It invigorates and strengthens one to get up in the morning in excitement â€“ to empower people to colour in their own life stories by reaching their full potential.