LLM in Child Care and Protection for Social Worker

Ms Jerusha Raghubar
Master of Laws in Child Care and Protection graduate Ms Jerusha Raghubar.

The need to enhance her legal knowledge in order to help children in her role as a practicing social worker in child protection at Cape Town’s Marsh Memorial Homes Child and Youth Care Centre is what motivated Ms Jerusha Raghubar to pursue a Master of Laws in Child Care and Protection

‘I am a qualified Social Worker and have been in practice in the child protection arena over 12 years. My experience created a backdrop in understanding the special provisions children require and the devastating impact of their rights being violated. Social Work embodies a holistic perspective in theory and practice, therefore this qualification further enhances my legal theoretical background through the study of international and national legal frameworks. This, in turn, enables me to draw awareness to the short sightedness of policy formulation regarding children’s rights and advocate for child participation to inevitably uphold their human dignity,’ said Raghubar. 

Through her study titled: Substance Abuse as a Contributor to Children in Need of Care and Protection: A Case Study of Marsh Memorial Homes Child and Youth Care Centre in the Western Province, Raghubar learned more about the phenomenon of substance abuse and how it affects a child with the aim of offering a more holistic intervention. Dr Rowena Bernard supervised this study. 

‘I was intrigued by the fact that children removed from parental care was predominately because of substance abuse. Whereas substance abuse is a worldwide health issue, it appeared centre stage as a contributor to dysfunctional households on the Cape Flats. Inevitably, this denied a child the right to not just parental care, but their community,’ said Raghubar. 

She added that the study’s findings found that parental substance abuse contributed to children found in need of care and protection. 

‘Their drive for substances consequentially drove their children into alternative care. Intrinsically, children are totally dependent on adults and this alone should generate societal interest in that every effort in this world must be made to safeguard them from the consequences associated with parental substance abuse. This qualification allows one to appreciate the children’s rights framework and strive to ensure that children are entitled to these. It also entails that you are able to take a firm stand on any act that seeks to threaten them as bearers of rights.’ 

Words: Thandiwe Jumo

Photograph: Abhi Indrarajan

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