Carmel R Matthias


This article provides an explanation and critical analysis of the prevention and early intervention provisions in the South African Law Commission ‘s 2002 Draft Children’s Bill. In addition, the inter-sectoral approach provided for in the Draft Bill and the proposed national policy framework are evaluated. Innovative recommendations that would allow child and family courts to issue early intervention orders are discussed. It is contended in the article that if the prevention and early intervention provisions in the Draft Bill were to be translated into legislation, this could produce significant consequences. It would cause a fundamental shift in balance between proactive and reactive social work services for children in South Africa.

Full Text:



BROWNE, K. 2002. Child abuse: defining, understanding and intervening. In: WILSON, K. & JAMES, A. (eds) The child protection handbook. Edinburgh: Bailliere Tindall.

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT 1999. Financing Policy: Developmental Social Welfare Services. Government Gazette Vol. 405: General Notice No. 463 of 1999.

HARGREAVES, R.G. & HADLOW, J. 1995. Preventive intervention as a working concept in child-care practice. British Journal of Social Work, 25:349-365.

INTER-MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE ON YOUNG PEOPLE AT RISK, November 1996. Interim Policy Recommendations.

LOFFELL, J. & MATTHIAS C.R. 1999. Legislation for child protection. Unpublished research paper presented at a focus group discussion for the South African Law Commission.

MATTHIAS, C.R. 1997. Removal of children and the right to family life: South African law and practice. Bellville: Community Law Centre, University of Western Cape.

McKENDRICK, B. 2001. The promise of social work: directions for the future. Social Work/Maatskaplike Werk, 37(2):105-111.

MVULANE, Z. 2003. The right to food: If we could eat their words. Children First, 7(47):13-15.

NATIONAL COMMITTEE ON CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT 1996. Proposed National Strategy on Child Abuse and Neglect. Pretoria: Department of Welfare.

SOUTH AFRICAN LAW COMMISSION, April 1998. Review of the Child Care Act. First Issue Paper 13 (Project 110).

SOUTH AFRICAN LAW COMMISSION, Dec 2001. Review of the Child Care Act. Discussion Paper 103 (Project 110).

SOUTH AFRICAN LAW COMMISSION, Dec 2002. Review of the Child Care Act. Report and Draft Children’s Bill (Project 110).

TOMISON, A. (n.d.). Overcoming structural barriers to the prevention of child abuse and neglect – a discussion paper. National Child Protection Clearing House: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

TOMISON, A. 1998. Preventing child abuse in New South Wales. Australian Institute of Family Studies. Available:

REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA 1997. WHITE PAPER ON SOCIAL WELFARE, Notice 1108 of 1997. Pretoria: Ministry of Welfare.

ZAAL, F.N. & MATTHIAS C.R. 2000. The child in need of alternative care. In: DAVEL, C.J. (ed) Introduction to child law in South Africa. Lansdowne: Juta & Co, Ltd.

ZAAL, F.N. & MATTHIAS, C.R. 2002. Local government and the provision of child care services: an essential area for legislative reform. The South African Law Journal, 119(1):138-154.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 2312-7198  (online) ; ISSN 0037-8054 (print)

Powered by OJS and hosted by Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service since 2014.


This journal is hosted by the SU LIS on request of the journal owner/editor. The SU LIS takes no responsibility for the content published within this journal, and disclaim all liability arising out of the use of or inability to use the information contained herein. We assume no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any breaches of agreement with other publishers/hosts.

SUNJournals Help