Know where to go -
for our children our future

about csd

The Government of South Africa has made the needs of all vulnerable children a priority by mounting a multi-sectoral response that involves most government departments, civil society and international donors to ensure that appropriate mechanisms and services are in place to offer concrete support to vulnerable children. The estimated number of children who have become orphaned and vulnerable in South Africa stood at 1.5 million as of October 2008. There was a total of 18.6 million children in South Africa in 2012. Nineteen percent of these children were orphans who had lost a mother, father or both parents; 23% of children do not live with either of their biological parents; and 0.5% of children lived in child-only households. Orphaned and vulnerable children experience a wide range of challenges due to poor health, poverty, inadequate care, lack of social support and many other reasons. Access to quality services and support is critical to their survival, protection and development. In 2011 the Department of Social Development (DSD) launched the Children’s Services Directory (CSD) which is a resource of provincial organizations serving orphans and vulnerable children. Aquity Innovations, formerly known as University Research South Africa, was awarded a contract by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID. in June 2012 to provide technical support to the DSD to update, maintain, develop DSD capacity to sustain the CSD, making it a viable, fully functional national resource that is actively enabling vulnerable children to access services they need. The specific objectives of the CSD Project are: • To provide support services to the (DSD) for the Children’s Services Directory • To promote the maintenance and sustainability of the Children’s Services Directory; and • To increase the prognosis for sustainability of the CSD.

Aquity Innovations is working

in collaboration with the national Department of Social Development (DSD) to raise awareness of the public on the CSD and increase local capacity to use the CSD through networking and targeting services for vulnerable children and their households.

The Children’s Services Directory aims to

  • Help children and their caregivers identify and locate services,/li>
  • Inform government and donors on the availability of services for children, and
  • Facilitate networking and referrals among service providers.

The information in the Children’s Services Directory

Includes service providers registered with the Department of Social Development as non-profit organizations. These are organizations that provide services and support to vulnerable children in each district,

The information in the directory will be disseminated via multiple channels

  • Hard copy directories
  • Web site
  • USSD: Short message service (SMS) text querying systems

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Children’s Services Directory (CSD)?

The CSD is a Directory that contains information of non-profi t organisation registered with the Department of Social Development (DSD) which offer services and support to vulnerable children.

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Why is the government developing the Children Services Directory

The government has made the needs of all vulnerable children a priority. The DSD is working with other government departments, civil society and international donors to ensure that services are in place to offer concrete support to vulnerable children. This directory is being developed to make available services known and accessible to children and their caregivers in times of need.

How is the Children’s Services Directory being developed?

The process involves the verification of the NPO information as registered with the Department of Social Development. This is followed by field visits and engagements at local level in collaboration with provinces,districts and local municipalities to ensure ownership and sustainability of the process.

Who can use the CSD

The Directory is an important reference for members of the public and concerned citizens wanting to assist children in need within their communities :

How can I help a vulnerable child through the CSD?

If you know of a child who is in need of help, use the CSD to refer that child to the relevant organisation...

Which organizations qualify to be on the CSD?

  • Organizations providing services to vulnerable children that are registered as Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) with the DSD, with an active NPO status
  • These organizations have to produce proof of registration as NPOs
  • They must first be verified by DSD before they are added to the Directory

How can I help a vulnerable child through the CSD?

  • If you know a child who is in need of help, use the CSD to refer that child to the relevant organization.
  • Help children know the service icons by teaching them.
  • Teach your child, friends, peers and colleagues about the icons and the CSD so that they can also share the information with other children to be able to get help when they need it.
  • If you are with an organization serving children, make sure that your organization gets verified and included in the CSD

How will I identify the directory?

The directory can be identified by the large logo on the cover page and the message “Know where to go – for our children, our future”

What can you do to support the aims of the CSD?

If you are a registered NPO providing services for vulnerable children, ensure that your organization details are on the directory from the Department of Social Development’s website. If your organization is not listed, please notify the department by email provided below.

What are other benefits of the Children’s Services Directory?

  • South Africans will have easier access to children’s services and information
  • Schools, clinics, police and other institutions will have easy access to services for referrals
  • Policy-makers and planners will be better informed on the available services to be able to provide necessary support and improve response to children’s needs.
  • Partnerships and networks between the different organizations providing children services will be strengthened.

How will communities know about the directory?

  • The CSD will be disseminated to the public via multiple channels, including:
  • Hard copy directories and CD-Roms
  • Website which will be available at http://dsd.gov.za
  • SMS from a mobile phone, following interactive menus. The numbers to dial will be made available to the public.
The DSD and its partners is embarking on a public education and awareness campaign to share information with children, adults and the public in general on how to use the CSD for referral purposes. This awareness campaign will also inform the public about ways of understanding the different types of services offered by each organization listed in the directory.

When will the CSD be available and where can I get it?

All provinces will be educated on the CSD and ‘Know your Signs’. Eventually, the CSD will be rolled out in all provinces. Watch out for news/announcements of different provincial release dates


Provincial Directories

Free State
Kwazulu Natal
Northen Cape
Eastern Cape
Western Cape



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