A care centre in Woodstock has had seventeen children removed from its care after allegations surfaced that they were being abused, said the Western Cape’s Department of Social Development yesterday.

The children were moved out of the Al Door Child and Youth Care Centre after a preliminary investigation was conducted into several serious complaints that children were being subjected to physical and sexual abuse.

Department spokesperson Esther Lewis told News24 the 17 children have been placed in other child and youth care centres and the department is working to find alternative longer-term placement for the children once investigations have come to a close.

“Due to the seriousness of the allegations, involving a number of children at the home, the department has deemed it necessary to remove and place the children in temporary alternative accommodation in terms of Section 173 of the Children’s Act to ensure their safety while criminal investigations are underway,” said Lewis. “They are receiving the necessary social support, including assessment and counselling, while criminal charges have been laid with the police against the alleged perpetrators.”

Pending the final outcome of the department’s investigations, a process to suspend the home’s registration is also underway.

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