Residents in the greater Grassy Park area should be able to access social services much easier with the Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) launching its local offices on Thursday. Also at the launch were the DSD’s NGO partners, including CAFDA, Cape Town Child Welfare, as well as the South African Police Services. The Grassy Park local office falls under the Metro South Regional Office, and brings the total number of local offices in the province to 39.
The Grassy Park Local Office has a full staff compliment of five social workers, three social auxiliary workers, and one assistant Community Development Worker.
These professionals are responsible for providing important services closer to the community, including; early childhood development, child protection, substance abuse , victim empowerment and a disability programme.
“Our team was based in the Wynberg offices and that was not conducive to service delivery so we needed to open this space to the communities which we serve,” social work manager Imalda April explained.
Quinton Arendse, the regional manager for the department said that their next office that will open will be in Fish Hoek.
“We need to bring our services to the community in order to effectively help them,” said Arendse.
The community of Grassy Park is said to suffer from high levels of substance abuse, prominent of which are tik, heroine, and alcohol. In response to these challenges, the Grassy Park DSD has already started a Family Preservation Programme. Running over eight weeks, the programme provides counselling, support and services to families and children at risk.
“Drug screening can be done at this facility, we have a qualified person who will be able to do this,” MEC Albert Fritz stated.
The centre is open Monday to Friday and community members do not need an appointment in order to go to the facility. It is open to the public for those in need of the services offered there. VOC (Umarah Hartley)