Prevention and Early Intervention
WHAT ARE PEI PROGRAMMES?
The Children’s Act (38 of 2005, amended 2007) defines prevention and early intervention programmes as those that are provided to families with children.
- Prevention programmes are for families that need strengthening to become self-reliant in order to address “problems that may or are bound to occur in the family environment which, if not attended to, can lead to [the removal of children into alternative care]”
- Early Intervention programmes are for those families in which the children are already vulnerable to or at risk of harm or removal into alternative care.
We believe that PEI programmes are the best way to protect children from harm because they are aimed at addressing issues that arise within the family structure and they aim to keep children within their families.
Families should be given the tools to create a family environment that is safe and healthy so that parents and children can stay together.
We want to empower children and parents to cope with the challenges that come with family life. This is especially important in communities where families lack the means to support themselves effectively and need guidance to create a family system that ensures the well-being of its children in every aspect.
Sometimes there are situations where children are living in homes that are already putting children at risk of harm. We try to intervene early on so that we can strengthen the family and build resilience so the family can stay together, rather than referring the child to social services to be removed from home. Bearing in mind that if the family is strengthened, the child does not have to be removed and placed in alternative care.
WHAT WE DO:
When CTMSC began its work, we noticed that many of the children living or begging on the streets came from a number of the same areas. These areas are rife with gang violence and most of the families live in poor living conditions.
We aimed to create programmes that prevent children from ending up on the streets, experiencing abuse and neglect, and being targeted by gangs. Our programmes are focused on support and psycho-education for parents as well as children.
Our approach has been to develop connections with primary schools in these areas and become established as social service providers within each school community.
We serve the communities surrounding the schools in the areas of: Clarke Estate, Kalksteenfontein, Netreg, Salt River and Woodstock. We serve the vulnerable children in these schools and surrounding areas through providing support and guidance to them and their families in a number of ways (we call these our prevention and early intervention programmes):
–Life Skills in a classroom setting (tackling themes such as self-esteem, making positive choices, coping with difficult emotions)
–Holiday Club (programme) (every June, October and December school holidays)
–Parenting Skills programmes in a group setting
–Child abuse awareness and prevention workshops for children, families, and community members
–Counselling to individuals (children and their families) and referral where needed
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
R200 = printed manual and all materials needed for one parent to attend a parenting skills course
R500 = food for one child during a holiday programme