“Our Vision is to provide a stable environment in which our children can shine”
The conception of Impilo was born when 2 adoption social workers, one of whom was Sue Krawitz, the current Director, with many years of experience in the field of adoption, began to see an increase in the number of abandoned children and children affected by HIV/Aids in South Africa.
Children were placed in care for extended periods of time with many of them becoming lost in the system. They wanted to establish a home based environment for a small number of children and to offer intensive social work services so that children could be placed in a permanent family environment as early as possible.
The word Impilo means “to give life” in Zulu.
After about a year, in 2003, Impilo Place of Safety was set up as a Section 21 company and NPO initially as a project of Johannesburg Parent and Child Counselling Centre. The doors opened to the first child in November 2003. Initially Impilo accommodated 6 children but after 18 months this increased to 12 children. Impilo is now an independent organisation.
In order to correctly reflect the extent of the services we offer Impilo changed its name to IMPILO CHILD PROTECTION AND ADOPTION SERVICES in 2012. Impilo has established itself as a major role player in the field and is considered an advocate for orphaned and vulnerable children.
Child Protection services were set up to work with the families of the children with whom we work. These children are placed in a network of temporary safe care facilities (Safe beds).
Social Workers undertake statutory investigations into the child’s background. When a child is abandoned, the police are requested to assist in finding the parents. Birth mothers and fathers receive intensive counselling regarding the options available for their children. Reunification within the biological family either with birth parents or extended family is the first option for each child. When this it is not possible, or parents cannot be traced, or sign consent to an adoption, when the child is adoptable, then only is alternate permanent placement considered.
Today Impilo continues to provide these services. Impilo places children in adoption both nationally and in inter-country adoption. Impilo’s national adoption programme assists families with non related, trans-racial and family/matched adoptions. We actively recruit families for adoption as there are many children within South Africa needing families. We accept inquiries from married couples, single people and same sex applicants. Inter country adoption can only be considered when no national families are available. At present Impilo has working agreements with DIA in Denmark, Eltern für Kinder in Austria and Naledi in Luxembourg .
Impilo employs 22 dedicated staff members.
The Board of Management consists of Directors and additional members with varying skills to support the organisation.
Impilo is as a registered NPO, Designated Child Protection Organization and is an Accredited Adoption Organisation for National and Inter-country adoption.
Impilo values partnerships and networking as one of its fundamental values. We believe in building optimal partnerships in families and creating sustainable solutions to ensure every child that Impilo encounters has the best possible chance to reach their full potential.
We are about far more than child protection and care – we are about partnering, communities, unifying a nation and celebrating life.
The objectives of Impilo are:
1 to provide a short term place of safety for the protection and care of orphaned and vulnerable children under the age of three years;
2 to provide personalised care for suchchildren by meeting their physical, medical, psychological and emotional needs;
3 to establish and secure the legal status of each child in terms of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 as amended;
4 to endeavour to assist biological families to care for their children insofar as is possible, and where not possible, to find suitable alternative care;
5 to act as quickly as possible in order to serve the best interests of each child;
6 to provide child protection services to children in its care;
7 to provide adoption services nationally and internationally;
8 to raise awareness in South African communities of the need for South African children to have permanent families; and
9 in all its actions to strive to serve the best interests of each child placed in its care.