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Baby left in a care of a stranger receives help

Written by: Elizabeth Kgabane

Baby allegedly abandoned by a guardian in a stranger’s home is recused after the homeowner called for help from the police and Childline Gauteng lends a hand.

Kids haven Sunlight Safe House gave baby Precious (not her real name) a warm welcome to assist in her journey of trauma recovery after the guardian allegedly left her in the care of a stranger recently.

Baby Precious, who is estimated to be six months old, was well cared for by a caring community member who reported to the South African Police Service (SAPS) and she was taken to Sunlight Safe House by police officers.

Director at Childline Gauteng Lynne Cawood says Baby Precious was excited to see their caretakers and had an immediate bond with them.

She was very happy with us and engaged readily with our care workers. This immediate bonding is a sign that she had not emotionally bonded to her previous caregiver.

Director at Childline Gauteng Lynne Cawood

According to Childline, a stranger carrying a baby went to a home enquiring about a tenant that had moved from the premises.

During the enquiry, the stranger asked the landlady to hold the baby as she went for a smoke.

After the stranger did not return in a few minutes the landlady went to look for her to no avail.

The proprietor alerted police and continued care for the newborn in the case that the guardian comes back.

Baby Precious was later given to the SAPS and provided care for by the Sunlight Safe House.

Sunlight Safe House was set up by Childline Gauteng to receive abused and neglected children after hours to ensure kids in life-threatening circumstances are given a warm and caring help in times of trauma.

Cawood also said the impact of abandonment includes difficulty in forming a personal identity and trust issues.

The long-term impacts of abandonment are very serious. They include difficulty in forming a personal identity, no access to name or nationality of birth, a great sense of loss and it may impact on the child’s ability to trust, bond, form good relationships.

Director at Childline Gauteng Lynne Cawood

Cawood said the challenges may be alleviated by placing the child in a forever home.

These difficulties are mitigated by being placed into a caring family, either adoption or foster care. Counselling when older is helpful but can never change the reality of this grave emotional injury at an early stage of life.

Director at Childline Gauteng Lynne Cawood

Precious has been referred to the statutory services providers to investigate and find the best possible long-term placement for her.




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