Most children coming into care are already disadvantaged socially, lagging behind intellectually or educationally, and disturbed emotionally. Through professional services Epworth Children’s Village has become a ‘therapeutic community’, to remedy and rehabilitate the hurt, abused and damaged child. We comply with South Africa’s Children’s Act 38 of 2005 by employing a multi-disciplinary team of social workers, psychologists and occupational therapists to run effective therapeutic residential programmes. The organization runs programmes to promote children’s all-round development by strengthening their emotional resilience and increasing their capacity for learning to adapt to a rapidly changing world.
Programmes that We Run
Our Residential and Community Outreach Projects motivate students for higher education, increase self-confidence, cultural sensitivity and a sense of belonging and participation in their community. Our Assessment and Therapy Centre assists disadvantaged learners from early development and continuing through high school graduation. Our five main programme areas include:
Residential Based Therapy Project
Since most children coming into care are already disadvantaged socially, lagging behind intellectually or educationally, and disturbed emotionally, it is insufficient for residential life to provide simply good physical care. Through professional services Epworth Children’s Village has become a ‘therapeutic community’, to remedy and rehabilitate the hurt, abused and damaged child. It runs programmes to promote children’s all-round development by strengthening their emotional resilience and increasing their capacity for learning to adapt to a rapidly changing world. Thus, it complies with South Africa’s Children’s Act 38 of 2005 by running effective therapeutic residential programmes.
This is a transitions management project where residential childcare programming is made to ensure a blend of institutional goals and community expectations. Regular staff training helps maintain a relevant institution to serve society and ensure that neither staff nor children should be totally institutionalized. Epworth Children’s Village is thus a place for child development where prolonged institutional life is not a choice. We value timely tracing, reunification and integration of children to avoid long-term separations. We therefore, facilitate every child to maintain continuous, frequent and regular contact with an adult outside the institution for smooth reintegration.
Assessment and Therapy Project
Epworth Children’s Village runs an Assessment and Therapy Centre, which provides psychological assessments and therapy, and occupational assessments and therapy. This assists children by mentoring each child there by promoting academic perseverance and encouraging post-secondary education. We assist disadvantaged students from early development and continuing through high school graduation. This project has both residential and outreach coverage, stretching to historically disadvantaged townships and informal settlements schools.
The services we provide include school readiness assessments, psychological and occupational therapy, parenting skills and workshops for teachers, counselling, subject choice and other need-based professional interventions.
Early Learning Support Project
The Epworth Children’s Village is dedicated to helping schools and parents give every child an opportunity to achieve early learning success, which lays the foundation for success in life. Children who come to school without important language, literacy, numeracy, motor, and negative behavior skills are at a disadvantage for success in the first years of school. Children who have not developed solid skills by the end of the third grade are at a disadvantage for life. The Early Learning Support Project offers training and materials to support the development of important skills and behaviours in the early years. We work with parents and teachers to build the solid foundation that allows children to thrive academically, socially, and physically, and to experience both success and joy in the early years of learning. The training and material we offer is tuned to the need for young children to develop skills to that deeper level of understanding and application, tuned to knowing what skills children have and are ready to learn, and to offering instruction that is responsive to a child’s level of readiness. Parents and teachers of zero to grade 3 children in historically marginalized communities and informal settlements are targeted.
Community Education Support Project
The Community Education Support Project is anchored on the fact that good and effective access to education reduces crime rate, HIV infections, unemployment and poverty. Thus, education will go a long way to transform South African society if it is espoused with effective quality considerations. The project’s psychosocial support initiatives aim at impacting among society’s children and young people to abstain from teenage sex, substance abuse and enhance school adherence, employment chances and creating a crime free and child friendly society. The age-specific motivational activities are run with grade 4 to 12 students in historically marginalised communities and informal settlements.
Our Community Education Support Project has therefore been designed in consultation with the Department of Education and has the following core elements:
Attendance Monitoring and Incentive Programmes.
Behavioral Support initiatives.
Academic Enhancement especially in Math, Science and English.
Educator Support initiatives.
Parent Motivation and Support initiatives.
Student leadership development
In collaboration with the Provincial Department of Education we have selected 26 most affected schools in historically marginalized township communities and informal settlements to roll out this Community Education Support Project during 2013.
Epworth Children’s Village has professional management and staff capacity to run all the above projects but is currently running them all on a piecemeal basis due to inadequate finances. Projects (a) and (b) are institution based while (c), (d) and (e) include our outreach to historically marginalised communities and informal settlements. The following is a list of activities that are already being undertaken to drive the aforesaid projects:
Education support and parenting Workshops for parents
Educational workshops for teachers.
Educational psychology assessments and therapy
Individual Case Management
Occupational assessments and therapy
Social Work Services
On-going School-based Support Teams development.
Student Leadership Development
Creative workshops for children from the community
AIDS awareness clubs
Tracing, reunification and reintegration for separated children
Tutoring Program in our on-site Learning and Resource Centre
As a nonprofit, Epworth Children’s Village relies on volunteers and the charitable giving of people who care about the future of our South African children. We offer our special and sincere thanks to all who make donations of time, money, supplies, and other resources. Your generosity makes us successful!