LLM Research Zooms in on Substance Abuse and the Child’s Best Interests

Cum Laude Graduate, Ms Megan Gedye.
Master in Childcare and Protection cum laude graduate, Ms Megan Gedye.

Substance abuse is a major problem in South Africa, with negative consequences for families.

This motivated lawyer and Master in Childcare and Protection cum laude graduate, Ms Megan Gedye to explore the feasibility of introducing family drug treatment courts into the Children’s courts.

Supervised by Professor Willene Holness and Ms Judy Parker, the study titled, Exploring Family Drug Treatment Courts as an Intervention for Parental Substance Abuse and the Child’s Best Interests, highlights the problems in the foster care system, in particular the failure to provide meaningful rehabilitation to parents who abuse substances and consequent failure to ensure the best interests of the foster child are met.

‘My research investigated mandatory rehabilitation of parents who abuse substances and successful reunification with their fostered children,’ said Gedye.

The former associate in the Litigation Department of Garlicke & Bousfield Inc. who is currently lecturing at Varsity College says she hopes that the study’s findings and recommendations will lead to legal reform.

‘My sister is an occupational therapist, working closely with foster children. Many of the stories she told me inspired me to begin research in this area. She is as thrilled to have legal help as I am to offer it. I am in the process of writing a journal article about this as well,’ said Gedye.

Words: Thandiwe Jumo

Photograph: Sethu Dlamini

Share This Post