News / South Africa

Ilse de Lange
1 minute read
13 Aug 2018
6:55 am

Foster mom turns to courts for help with daughter who killed her cat

Ilse de Lange

The woman agreed to let the violent girl and her sister be placed in care with her in 2012.

A Pretoria woman’s desperation about the violent behaviour of her 14-year-old foster daughter, who physically attacked her and killed the family’s rabbit and cat, has forced her to turn to the high court for relief.

The woman initially asked the court to order the girl’s detention at a place of safety pending an inquiry into her future placement, but eventually agreed to a court order stating that it was no longer in the child’s best interest to be in her care, and that the foster care order would not be renewed without her consent.

The former teacher said in court papers that although she was a single parent, she had in 2012 consented to the girl and her sister – who were at that stage in an orphanage – being placed in foster care with her.

She said although one allowed that raising teenagers from an orphanage could pose greater challenges, she was ill-prepared for the enormous challenges the girl would pose.

The child’s problems started manifesting last year and a child psychiatrist eventually diagnosed her with attachment, oppositional defiant, major depressive and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders.

The girl started pressuring her for information about her parents, but her behaviour deteriorated dramatically after the woman revealed in a fit of anger that the children’s father had sexually abused them.

The agitated girl broke objects in the house, drove her foster mother’s car into a wall and started cutting herself, resulting in her admission to a psychiatric hospital.

On her release, she started breaking crockery and hit her foster mother. She also killed a rabbit while visiting family, and kicked and broke the car’s windscreen.

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