The Foster Child Grant is an essential SASSA social grant that provides financial assistance to foster parents caring for children via a court-ordered placement.
What is the Foster Child Grant?
- Monthly cash payment from SASSA to foster parents of children under 18 years old
- For foster child formally placed into foster parent’s care via court order
- To financially assist foster parents with the costs of raising the foster child
- Foster parents must use funds solely for the benefit of the foster child
- Means test used to determine eligibility based on income threshold
- Over 500,000 foster children benefit from the Foster Child Grant
Eligibility Criteria for the Foster Child Grant
The foster parent, foster child, and placement must meet the following eligibility criteria:
Foster Parent Requirements
- South African citizen, permanent resident, or refugee with valid papers
- Residing in South Africa
- Not paid to care for the child (i.e. not working for a child protection organization)
Foster Child Requirements
- South African citizen, permanent resident, or refugee under 18 years old
- Placed in custody of foster parent via court order
- Does not already receive a foster child grant
- Not cared for in state institution
- Valid court order indicating a child is placed in foster care
- Statement from social worker endorsing foster care placement
How to Apply for the Foster Child Grant
Eligible foster parents can apply for the grant in two ways:
- Visit the SASSA official website and register on the portal
- Capture ID details for yourself and the foster child’s details
- Upload copies of court orders, IDs, birth certificates, proof of income & residence
- Submit the completed online application
- Visit the nearest SASSA office and request an application form
- Complete in full and submit with both IDs, birth certificate, foster placement court order, etc
- SASSA agent captures details and initiates the application process
- Return later to check the status and provide any further details requested
Note applicants must provide accurate personal details. Do not falsify any information as this constitutes fraud.
Foster Child Grant Documentation Needed
Foster parents need to submit the following valid documentation when applying:
- Foster parent’s original green barcoded ID book/card
- Child’s original birth certificate
- Child’s clinic card or ID if older than 16 years
- Court order indicating child placement into foster care
- Social worker report endorsing foster care placement
- Proof of foster parent’s residence
- Recent bank statement if grant to be deposited
- Proof of income to ensure qualifying for the means test
Foster Child Grant Amount
- R1,130 per foster child per month from April 2023
- Uniform amount nationwide does not vary by region
- Multiple foster children can be claimed but grant applications must be made for each child individually
- The monthly amount increases slightly annually in line with inflation
The funds aim to assist foster parents in covering the child’s basic food, clothing, health, and educational needs.
How the Foster Child Grant is Paid Out
SASSA distributes the Foster Child Grant in a few ways each month:
- Direct deposit into foster parent’s bank account on record
- Loaded onto a SASSA card used to withdraw cash or pay for purchases
- Cash payouts at designated pay points like post offices and retailers
- Transfers via money agents like Mukuru where the recipient collects funds
Foster parents should provide their own safe bank account details where possible for secure monthly grant deposits.
Foster Child Grant Payment Dates
- Foster Child Grants are paid after Older Persons Grants and Disability Grants each month.
- Payments commence on the 3rd day of each month unless the 3rd falls on a weekend or public holiday.
- Foster parents then get 5 working days from the payment start date to collect the grant.
- For example, if the 3rd is a Saturday, payouts start on Monday the 5th until Friday the 9th.
- Recipients must collect the exact grant amount during the 5-day payment cycle.
Duration of the Foster Child Grant
- The Foster Child Grant is paid monthly until the child turns 18 years old
- The grant ceases in the month after the child’s 18th birthday
- Foster parents must inform SASSA once the child ages out of eligibility so the grant can be terminated
- Court orders must also be renewed annually for continued eligibility
Reporting Foster Child Grant Issues
Foster parents should report any Foster Care Grant issues to SASSA right away:
- Visit the nearest SASSA office and speak to an agent
- Call the SASSA call center helpline for assistance
- Log a query or complaint online via the SASSA Services portal
- Follow up immediately if grant payments are late, delayed, or missed
- Report suspected fraud providing all relevant details
Promptly reporting any problems helps SASSA investigate and resolve issues speedily.
Foster Child Grant Fraud Consequences
It is illegal to provide false information when applying for a Foster Child Grant or accept grants unethically. The consequences of fraud include:
- Fines and/or imprisonment up to 12 months
- Having to repay all funds unduly received
- Being barred from receiving grants for 10 years
- A criminal record that negatively impacts job applications
- Charges under the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act
Applicants should thus take extreme care to provide accurate details to avoid facing criminal penalties.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long does it take to process a Foster Child Grant application?
Expect a processing time of roughly 13 weeks from successful application to first payment.
What if my application was rejected?
If your application was denied, lodge an appeal within 90 days providing further supporting documents proving all eligibility criteria are met.
What happens if the foster child moves households?
Notify SASSA immediately providing proof of new address. The grant can be received anywhere in South Africa as long as the foster child remains with the same foster parent recipient.
How often must the foster court order be renewed?
Foster placement court orders need to be renewed every 12 months for continued grant eligibility. Provide SASSA copies of renewed orders annually.
If the foster child dies, must SASSA be informed?
Yes, immediately notify SASSA providing a copy of the death certificate so the child can be removed from the system and grant payments will cease.
The Foster Child Grant enables foster parents to meet the needs of vulnerable children needing care. Make sure that you follow all steps to apply and comply with the terms to receive this essential assistance to take better care of your foster child.