• Marianne Strydom Social Work, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa.



In accordance with South African policy documents and legislation (Department of Social Development, 2004; Children’s Act 38 of 2005, Section 2(a)White Paper for Social Welfare, 1997) social work service delivery to families where child abuse and neglect occur, must be focused mainly on family preservation through rendering preventative and early intervention services thereby preventing statutory services. Preventative services are, as directed by the ISDM (Department of Social Development, 2006), the primary level of service delivery, by linking families to resources which can limit risky behaviour and to implement a developmental welfare policy. Strong focus is placed on the development of resources in communities to support families and to build capacity, before family crises could develop (Department of Social Development, 2006). Within this context the purpose of this article is to investigate the support (prevention) services available to at-risk families at family welfare organisations to prevent the removal of children and to enhance family preservation.


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