The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) Foster Care grant is a welfare program designed to offer support and financial assistance to vulnerable children under foster parents’ supervision and care. The child is entrusted to the care of foster parents by the Child Court for various reasons such as neglect, orphaned, abuse, and more.
Foster Care grant is one of the crucial components of the South African social protection system, which aims to provide comfort and financial assistance to children and foster families facing challenging circumstances. Hence, for those seeking to avail themselves of this key assistance, I will be your dedicated guide and will provide each detail related to the Foster Care grant. Therefore, keep reading and take notes.
Qualifying Recipients of Foster Care Grant
Let me start by telling you about the most basic aspect related to the Foster Care grant: its eligibility criteria or requirements. You must fulfill SASSA’s requirements in order to qualify for the grant. Now, let’s look at these requirements one by one:
- The child and the guardian must reside in South Africa.
- The applicant must be a South African citizen, either a permanent resident or a refugee.
- The child must fall within the specified age range below 18.
- The applicants must ensure that the foster child is legally (by Court’s order) placed under their care and must remain under their supervision.
- You must possess a valid court order to prove the child is legally bound to you.
Documents Required For Foster Care Grant Application
Applicants need certain documents before applying for the Foster Care grant. The applicant must prepare the following original documents or certified copies:
- Identity documents of the applicants as well as their spouses.
- Foster child’s birth certificate.
- However, you must complete an affidavit if you do not possess an identity book and the child’s birth certificate. The affidavit will be given to you by SASSA. Therefore, you must consult them.
- Documentation of your marital relationship status. These documents must include a divorce order, sworn statement or affidavit, marriage certificate, and death certificate if the spouse is deceased.
- Lastly, you must provide evidence of legal custody arrangement.
Where and How To Apply for The Foster Care Grant?
Now, since the documents and everything are ready, the question arises how can I apply for the grant? Well, do not worry. The application process is straightforward and designed to ensure that deserving individuals can access the support they need as efficiently as possible. Read the following instructions to apply for the Foster Care grant successfully:
Step 1: Visit The Nearest SASSA Office
The first question that appears in the applicant’s mind is where do they apply for a Foster Care grant? You can apply for a grant by visiting the nearest SASSA local office in your area. The application form is not available on the SASSA’s official website. Therefore, you must go to the nearest South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) office.
However, remember you must take all the relevant documents (mentioned above) along with you.
Step 2: Consult SASSA Officials
Ask for assistance and help from the SASSA official regarding the documents and application process. Once you are at the office, the SASSA official will check your documents and information to ensure that everything is in order. If there are some documents missing, they will inform you.
Moreover, they will also confirm your eligibility for the Foster Care grant. If you are eligible, they will give you the application form.
Step 3: Complete The Application Form
Next, fill out the application form with the assistance of the SASSA officials. The application can only be filled out by you or the SASSA officials; no third party can get involved. Furthermore, keep in mind you can not apply for the Foster Care grant without the Court’s order.
Hence you should consult a social worker from the Department of Social Development who will issue you a Court order confirming foster guardian status.
Step 4: Submit The Application
After completing the application form and submitting it, SASSA officials will give you a stamped receipt. You must keep that receipt as a form of proof that you applied for the Foster Care grant. After you have submitted the form, it may take up to three months to officially receive the grant.
What If Your Application Is Unsuccessful?
After successfully applying for the Foster Care grant, receiving news of its rejection can be disheartening. However, do not lose hope. If your application is not approved, you can take the following steps to address the situation:
- First of all, SASSA will provide written notification detailing the reason why your application was rejected or unsuccessful.
- Secondly, if you do not agree with the SASSA’s decision, you can submit a request to the Minister of Social Development at the national office of the Department of Social Development. Therefore, you have the right to lodge an appeal if you have any complaints regarding the decision.
- Moreover, the time limit is 90 days, so lodge the appeal within the time limit.
Monthly Grant Amount
Those whose application is accepted can start receiving the grants from the date when the Children’s court legally placed the child in the foster parent’s care and supervision. This is to ensure that the guardian keeps on receiving the payment for the entire duration of the Foster Care arrangement. Moreover, the amount the applicant or the Foster parents will receive is R1,120 per month per child.
SASSA will pay the grant to the successful applicants through the following different payment methods or options:
- You will receive cash on the appointed day at the specific or authorized payment location.
- The applicant can also receive the payments through their Bank or Post Bank account.
- You can also receive the funds through the grant administrator, such as a welfare organization, supervising the distribution and managing of the grants.
Moreover, keep in mind if you do not collect the grant within three months, your grant and payments will be terminated, and you will have to go through the whole application process again. Therefore, collect your payment monthly. If you are unable to do it, you can nominate someone on your behalf to do the work for you.
In addition, you also have the freedom to change your payment method. However, you must visit the Welfare office and follow their instructions.
It is essential to be aware of the renewal of the Foster Care grant to ensure continued financial assistance for the child under the foster parent’s or guardian’s supervision. The grant renewal refers to extending the validity of the Foster Care program. The Foster Care grant is subject to renewal after the expiration or due date of the Court’s order.
The Foster Care grant is reviewed every two years. In addition, SASSA will send you a notification three months prior to the expiratory date to inform you about the renewal date and where the renewal will take place. Therefore, always stay in touch with SASSA.
Potential Reasons For Foster Care Grant Suspension
While Foster Care grants offer continuous support to deserving individuals, there are certain situations or circumstances that might lead to temporary suspension. Therefore, read the following reasons to avoid any potential suspension:
- First, it might be due to the applicant not claiming or collecting the grant consecutively for three months.
- Your financial condition might have changed for the better, or you no longer fulfill the requirement criteria.
- The applicant provided incorrect information or details while filling out the application form. Hence, always provide authentic and accurate information.
- The applicant’s lack of compliance during the grant renewal process.
- If the applicant is involved in fraudulent activity or a scam, their grant can be suspended.
- Lastly, the SASSA can suspend the grant or funds if the individual’s application for the Foster Care grant was accepted due to a certain fault or error.
It is necessary for the applicants to comply with all the responsibilities associated with the Foster Care grant to avoid potential suspension. If your grant is suspended, you must take immediate action and communicate with SASSA to address the issue. In addition, you are supposed to apply for the restoration of the grants within 90 days of the suspension; otherwise, your application will be rejected.
How much is the Foster Care grant in South Africa in 2023?
There is an increase in Foster Care grants in South Africa by R50 from R1,070 to R1,120 starting from April 2023.
A Foster Care grant in South Africa is offered by SASSA to financially support vulnerable children placed under foster guardians’ supervision. The application process for a Foster Care grant is very simple, and you only need to visit the nearest SASSA office in order to complete the application form. However, before you apply for the grant, you must fulfill certain criteria set by SASSA.
If your application is accepted, you will receive R1,120, which can be collected using different payment methods. In addition, remember if you do not collect your payment for three months, SASSA will terminate or cancel your grants. Therefore, be careful.