3rd Floor, Children’s Memorial Institute
13 Joubert Street Ext. (entrance on Hillside Road),
Johannesburg Child Advocacy Forum (JCAF) is a registered NPO that serves to ensure that the universal rights of children in South Africa are upheld by protecting and advocating for the rights of children, through a continuum of interventions. Its vision is to see every child safe, well-nurtured and thriving within an enabling environment that addresses his/her needs. In fulfilling this vision, JCAF aims to ensure that all children have access to the rights as set out in the Constitution, by offering psycho-socio and legal support to those in need.
In every case affecting a child, the child’s interests remain paramount, but each child also specifically has the right:
1. To a name and nationality from birth;
2. To appropriate alternative care when removed from the family unit;
3. To basic shelter, health and social services;
4. To basic education;
5. To be legally represented and lastly, the right to be protected from neglect, violence and abuse.
The above rights inform JCAF’s approach when called upon to deal with any child’s matter.
JCAF’s case work, forms the bulk of its exertion and directs most of its advocacy and research activities, as it entails the direct provision of legal, psycho-social and other basic services to children. These are set out more carefully below.
Most of the cases referred to JCAF cannot be resolved or addressed by one service provider and this is precisely why they are referred to JCAF in the first place. JCAF is uniquely positioned and equipped to tackle complex problems related to children, while it also offers a multitude of services.
One of its founding members, Luke Lamprecht, has incredible knowledge of the child protection sector and has, as a result, built up an extensive platform for data sharing, debate and collaborative strengths to resolve complex children’s cases. This platform allows for members (and other important stakeholders) to offer support in resolving cases by each contributing a core strength. In this way, JCAF not only draw on its members’ specific expertise, but also on its own legal and/or psycho-social support structures, which greatly enhances its capacity to take on work but also broadens its own reach within the sector.
JCAF’s cases are not only used to inform critical research studies in the child protection space but also to generate specific campaigns to promote and protect children’s rights. Essential issues are also highlighted in the media to create public awareness. Campaigns are also used in conjunction with legal submissions to change policy and tackle systemic blockages on a broader scale, impacting larger groups of vulnerable children.
JCAF’s legal submissions are done by its internal legal unit. The JCAF Legal Centre is a registered law clinic set up to provide children with legal assistance. This unit, not only provides legal representation for children in need but also plays a significant part in resolving systemic blockages, while looking at ways to shape opinion and advocacy drives from a legal perspective for bigger impact. This allows for strategic partnerships, specific advocacy campaigns and broader (often complex) case interventions following a multi-layered approach.
To summarise, JCAF follows a holistic rights-based approach in ensuring the basic constitutional needs of children are met by drawing on its linkage (within the sector) and its advocacy, research, legal and case work. Its assistance makes provision for direct support to children whose rights have been violated, creating an enabling environment for each affected child. In this way, each child stands to benefit in a multitude of ways due to JCAF’s multifaceted but also all-inclusive support.
JCAF recently assisted a little boy with cerebral palsy to be safely placed and receive the necessary care. Please see.