SASSA Foster Child Grant – A Complete Guide

The Foster Child Grant helps people who are looking after foster children in South Africa. Foster children are kids who are put under the care of someone by a court because they’ve been orphaned, abandoned, are in danger, abused, or not looked after properly.

foster child grant

If you’re a student in foster care, you could qualify for financial help to pay for college or training programs. There are special grants available just for young people in foster care. Take a look at the information provided below to find out how you can apply for these grants and other types of assistance to support your education career.

How to Qualify for the Foster Child Grant?

  • You must be a South African citizen, permanent resident, or refugee.
  • Both you and the foster child must reside in South Africa.
  • The foster child must be legally placed in your care, and they must continue to remain under your care.
  • The child must be under the age of 18.

Meeting these criteria ensures eligibility for the grant, provides support to caregivers, and ensures the well-being of foster children across the country.

How to Qualify for the Foster Child Grant

What Is The Grant Amount?

You’ll receive R1,130 per month for each child you’re taking care of through the Foster Child Grant in South Africa. This financial support aims to assist caregivers in meeting the needs of foster children who may have been orphaned, abandoned, at risk, abused, or neglected by providing a monthly stipend.

What Are The Payment Methods?

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) offers several payment options:

Cash Payment

You can collect the grant in cash at specific pay points on designated days.

Electronic Deposit

SASSA can deposit the funds directly into your bank or Postbank account. However, it’s important to know that the bank may impose charges for this service.

Institutional Administration

The grant may be administered through an institution, such as a welfare organization.

Collection Assistance

If you’re unable to collect the grant yourself, you have options:

  • Procurator Appointment: You can appoint a procurator at the SASSA office to collect the grant on your behalf.
  • Power of Attorney: Grant someone power of attorney to collect the grant on your behalf.

When May Your Grant Be Reviewed?

The grant undergoes review upon the expiration of the court order, typically occurring biennially. Notification for the review process will be provided three months in advance. For recipients receiving funds through banking institutions or a procurator, an annual life certificate must be completed at a SASSA office to verify continued eligibility.

When May Your Grant Be Suspended?

Your grant may be subject to suspension under the following conditions:

  • Alterations in your situation.
  • Findings from a review process.
  • Non-compliance during grant evaluations.
  • Engagement in fraudulent activities or misrepresentation.
  • Errors discovered during the initial approval of your grant.

Restoration of the Grant

If you feel that your grant has been suspended mistakenly or if you disagree with SASSA’s decision, you have the opportunity to file an appeal with the Ministry of Social Development at the National Department of Social Development within 90 days of the suspension.

Reasons for Lapsing of the Foster Child Grant

Here are the conditions under which the foster child grant may lapse:

  1. When the child reaches 18 years of age, however, if the child is still pursuing secondary or high school education, the grant will continue until they turn 21. Grant payments will cease once the child completes their education or begins earning an income exceeding the grant amount.
  2. In the event of the death of the child or the last living foster parent.
  3. If the child is admitted to a state institution, the grant will expire on the first day of the seventh month following the child’s admission.
  4. Termination of your foster care for the child.
  5. If your refugee status, if applicable, is revoked.
  6. Failure to collect the grant for three consecutive months. It is possible to reapply for grant payments, but if the lapse extends beyond 90 days, a new grant application is required.
  7. If you are absent from the country for exceeding 90 days without prior notification.

What Documents Are Required for Foster Child Grant Application?

Visit the nearest South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) office with the necessary documentation.

  • Required documents include your 13-digit bar-coded identity document (ID) and the child’s birth certificate. Refugees should bring their status permits and refugee IDs.
  • In case of missing documents, complete an affidavit in a standard SASSA format in the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths who is not affiliated with SASSA.
  • Alternatively, provide a sworn statement signed by a reputable individual who knows you and the child.
  • SASSA officials will collect your fingerprints and may refer you to the Department of Home Affairs for ID application while processing your grant application.
  • Submit proof of ID and birth certificate application at the Department of Home Affairs.
  • If applicable, present a temporary ID the Department of Home Affairs issued.
  • Additional documents like a baptismal certificate, road to health clinic card, child’s school certificate, birth certificates from their country of origin, court order for child placement, and proof of marital status may be required.
  • Complete the application form with a SASSA officer’s assistance or on your own.
  • Upon submission, you’ll receive a receipt as proof of application. Please keep it safe.

What if Your Application Is Not Approved?

If your application is declined, SASSA will provide written notification detailing the reasons for the decision. Should you wish to contest the outcome, you have the option to lodge an appeal with the Minister of Social Development, based at the national office of the Department of Social Development. This appeal must be initiated within 90 days of receiving notification of the unsuccessful application.

How Long Does it Take?

Processing times for your application may extend up to three months. Upon approval, payments will commence from the date the court assigns the child to your care. This service is provided at no cost to you.

SASSA Foster Child Grant Balance Check

The SASSA balance check service enables individuals to monitor the remaining balance of their grant, facilitating better financial management and informed decision-making regarding grant funds. Upon approval of the foster child grant application and commencement of grant payments, it becomes essential to check the balance through various methods regularly:

  • Dialing the USSD code *120*3210# or *120*69277# from your cellphone.
  • Utilizing any ATM (normal bank charges may apply).
  • Contact SASSA via WhatsApp at 082 046 8553.
  • Call the toll-free SASSA call centre at 0800 601 011.

SASSA Foster Child Grant Reviews

SASSA conducts regular reviews of the foster child grant, typically coinciding with the expiry of the court order, which occurs every two years. These reviews ensure that the recipient still qualifies based on the means test criteria and that their circumstances have not significantly improved. 

Additionally, the review confirms the recipient’s continued existence. It’s essential to keep your application updated with any changes in your child’s circumstances to facilitate this process.

You’ll receive a written notice from SASSA approximately three months before the review or the deadline for submitting your life certificate, which serves as proof of your continued existence. This notice will include information regarding the date and location of the review.

If you receive your grant through a bank, institution, or agent, you must annually submit your life certificate to the SASSA office. However, if you’re unable to do so due to being bedridden, SASSA officials will conduct the review at your home. Once the review is complete, you’ll receive a compliance receipt as confirmation.

Responsibilities of the Beneficiaries

As a SASSA grant recipient, it’s important to fulfill certain obligations:

  • Ensure accuracy by promptly informing SASSA of any changes in personal or financial circumstances, including updates on foster child status.
  • Maintain timely communication with SASSA for any alterations to your address or personal contact details.
  • Provide accurate information, as has a zero-tolerance policy towards fraudulent activity.
  • Keeping SASSA informed in these situations helps prevent any disruptions or suspensions in grant payments. SASSA relies on the information provided in your application for sending notices and updates. Failure to update your address or contact details may lead to grant suspension, as SASSA won’t be able to reach you.


The Foster Child Grant serves as a vital support system for caregivers of foster children in South Africa, ensuring their well-being and security. By providing financial assistance and guidance through the application process, the grant aims to alleviate the burden on caregivers and promote the welfare of vulnerable children across the nation. 

Through adherence to eligibility criteria, diligent application submission, and proactive engagement with the South African Social Security Agency, caregivers can access the necessary resources to fulfill their role effectively. The Foster Child Grant reflects a dedication to social welfare, highlighting the collective responsibility to protect the rights and dignity of every child in South Africa.

Contact SASSA for More Queries

If you’re still confused and have more queries related to your status, then do contact SASSA through verified channels:

Frequently Asked Questions

No, there is no specified age limit for caregivers applying for the Foster Child Grant.

Yes, the grant is intended to cover various expenses, including food, clothing, education, healthcare, and other essentials for the foster child’s well-being.

No, there is no specified limit, but each child must meet the eligibility criteria.

Yes, you can apply for the Foster Child Grant even if you are receiving other social grants, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria.

Currently, applications must be submitted in person at the nearest SASSA office. However, online application options may become available in the future.

You’ll receive a written notification with reasons for the decision. You can appeal within 90 days to the Minister of Social Development.