The Life Story of Child Welfare South Africa

CWSA was officially constituted as a National Organisation in 1924. Child welfare societies in existence at the time recognised the need in for a national structure to co-ordinate their services, set standards, institute policy, provide them with support, and assist in meeting the national call for child welfare services in other areas of South Africa.

Today the infrastructure of CWSA consist of a National coordinating body with Provincial offices in all 9 Provinces, 154 member organisations and outreach projects in un-serviced and under-serviced rural communities. CWSA consist collectively of  2 400 staff members and 6 700 volunteers.

As a collective in the service of children, CWSA is the largest non-profit, non-governmental and volunteer driven organisation in the country.  CWSA provide child protection services, child and family care and community development services.

As a group, the organisation meets the needs of more than two million children, families and caregivers.

Achievements of Child Welfare South Africa

1998 to 2004

In 1998 the General Assembly of CWSA decided Child Welfare would embark on a transformation and restructuring process to meet the needs of South Africa’s new democracy. By 2004, this resulted in CWSA shifting its consumer focus predominantly to Black people, followed by Coloured, White and Indian people. Our focus remains the same today.

2002 to 2003

Between 2002 and 2003, the introduction of two nationally coordinated CWSA programmes to challenge child abuse and the effects of HIV and AIDS on children and to increase the number of children receiving a child welfare service. The two programmes, Isolabantwana and Asibavikele, are highly successful, have the financial support of international sponsors, operate under the umbrella of CWSA member organizations and add to the global number of children reached.


In 2004, after a five year extensive restructuring and consultation process, South African National Council for Child and Family Welfare re-branded its organisation. The name changed to Child Welfare South Africa, and a new logo was designed depicting our care for children in our country. We also increased our membership options and approved strategies to bring Child Welfare into an era of closer cooperation, unity, improved efficiency and effectiveness in service. As a national structure, CWSA maintains a highly visible national and provincial presence, with provincial offices in all provinces and professional staff who guide and support member organizations delivering services to children and families on the ground. As an established organization with years of institutional expertise, the CWSA collectively provides services to more than two million children, families and caregivers annually.

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