children in care
Children come into the care system for many reasons, physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect or abandonment. The trauma to the child, or children are huge and the impacts and effects long lasting. People have different views on the care system, the role of family, looking after children in care and what should happen to children. We believe that children’s homes are an essential piece of the jigsaw piece to protecting children, but it is not the long-term solution.
Some children will need to be or choose to stay in care for the childhood due to their own situation and experiences, but many are left in children’s home for far too long and actually experience a secondary trauma of institutional care. A life lived, often with many very dedicated and loving childcare workers, but a life without family, or a true sense of belonging. A life lived with the fear of one day leaving the children’s home with no family to go back to.
That’s where we come in. We have a number of objectives:
To work with the leadership, management and boards of Child and Youth Care Centres (CYCC – ‘Children’s homes’) and assist with technical and practical development in terms of re-unifying children with family.
For those who cannot return home we offer support and training to help the CYCC look at and support alternative family engagements
To offer strengths-based development for the CYCC and youth
Engage the local church community to offer a home, a place on the sofa or seat at the dinner table, allowing young people to have an on-going and consistent expression of family.
We offer adoption support, foster carer support and family repatriation support.
We have the opportunity to be a significant adult in the life of a child in care.
Research indicates that up to 80% of children in children homes actually have family. In fact, the irony of this is that many children actually go ‘home’ over long holiday periods. It is a tragic situation, that has evolved in part due to the HIV pandemic, but of the estimated 4miilion orphans in South Africa about 22,000 children live in children’s homes. Just imagine what a time as this we are in. an opportunity to help families re-connect and grow together, forever.
NB - No one will have access to children without being police checked and screened for the sexual offences and child protection register. All individuals will be trained and vetted by LIFE CHANGER. Those not deemed ready to work with or have access to children will be allowed to work through and with LIFE CHANGER in other areas, but never directly with children until such time as they meet the child protection policy requirements.