Experiences and Challenges of Parents with Children Removed Through a Statutory Process





parents, children in need of care and protection, removal, statutory process


The South African Constitution grants children the right to protection, and in cases where their safety and development are compromised, prompt removal and placement into alternative care is mandated. However, statutory removals can lead to tension and challenges between parents and social workers, impacting the parent-social worker relationship and complicating the removal process. This study delved into the experiences and challenges faced by parents involved in such removal processes. A qualitative approach was adopted, utilising semi-structured interviews for data collection. Thematic analysis yielded two main themes and several related sub-themes. The study revealed that parents’ overall experience remained negative, with limited participation in the removal process and their expectations not being fully met. Findings underscore the significance of the social worker-parent relationship while acknowledging its inherent difficulties. Communication gaps were evident, with parents often left uninformed and unconsulted during the removal process. The research highlights the need for improved communication and collaboration between social workers and parents to ensure a more transparent and supportive removal process. Addressing these challenges can ultimately lead to better outcomes for both the children and their families involved in the child protection system.


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Author Biography

Alfred Harris, University of the Western Cape

Masters student


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How to Cite

Erasmus, Charlene, and Alfred Harris. 2023. “Experiences and Challenges of Parents With Children Removed Through a Statutory Process”. Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development 35 (3):17 pages. https://doi.org/10.25159/2708-9355/12300.



Received 2022-09-21
Accepted 2023-08-26
Published 2023-10-31