You would be amazed at how complex every single case that lands on our doorstep can be and our dedicated social worker has to become a detective to decipher the intricacies and decide on the way forward for the best interests of the child involved.
The most common problem is children that arrive without a birth certificate or any details about their date of birth or even the place of birth. Sometimes even the parents do not remember the year the child was born and our social worker has to trawl the birth records of different hospitals or birthing centers to try and find an answer. A birth certificate is one of the most important documents a person has, but because it costs money to register a new-born baby, many parents do not follow through with this legal obligation. If we have enough information we can also apply for a late birth registration and give the child a legal identity.
Another problem is when the parents disappear either before the child is admitted or shortly after, then we have to make radio announcements and newspaper requests for any relatives to come forward. On several occasions we have been lucky and found relatives, but most of the time there is no response. Our social worker will often visit the last known address of the family and ask neighbors and local officials for any useful information they might have. Sometimes the information is misleading or not accurate and creates more confusion about the case and different strategies have to be tried to locate any family members.
Social worker or detective, every case is fascinating and frustrating at the same time; we celebrate the occasions when we successfully trace a relative or lost document and work together as a team to find new ways to resolve a case, however complicated it may be. Our goal is to re-unite the family or find a new loving family for the child. Your support through GlobalGiving enables Angel House to employ our social worker and give these children a better future.
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