PIETERMARITZBURG CHILDREN’S HOME
002 213 NPO
2010 / 2011
The Pietermaritzburg Children’s Home (PCH) provides residential care, management and treatment for troubled and abused children and youth who have been removed from parental custodianship and placed in our custody by recognized legal procedures.
PCH also implements programmes for the preparation of children for return to parental care, substitute care or responsible and independent adult living.
PCH endeavours to meet the needs of these children and youth in an effective and efficient manner subject only to resource constraints and the preservation of the integrity of the organisation.
- To provide residential care, observation, assessment, and treatment programmes for children and youth admitted to PCH.
- To facilitate the provision of normal and special education for all children and youth admitted to PCH.
- To ensure the medical well being of all children by facilitating the provision of information / relevant material to staff, children and youth and by hosting life skills sessions on all health related issues including sexual behavior, sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and all other matters relating to HIV/AIDS.
- To provide our children with the opportunity to enjoy social, spiritual and recreational activities within and outside of PCH.
- To create opportunities for the Child Care Workers and volunteers to receive training and develop further in the field of Child Care.
- To create opportunities for PCH to assist in educating unemployed persons via knowledge dissemination, on-the-job training on Child Care and providing them with relevant experience in order to help them seek employment, and increase community involvement
Good Afternoon Ladies and Gentleman, I welcome you to our 2011 Annual General Meeting and am pleased to acknowledge that this year marks a very significant milestone in the history of the home. PCH celebrates its 125th anniversary in this year and we are pleased to note that the home is still sustaining itself and able to proudly boast that it continues to serve the needs of orphaned and vulnerable children from Pietermaritzburg and its extensive surrounding areas.
I would first like to thank the members of the Board who continue to give off their personal time and tireless energy in support of the home. There are often trying and stressful times that are faced by the home and the Board members have displayed their commitment and loyalty by helping the home with their expertise and knowledge.
I also thank each of their spouses who allow them to sacrifice their time for the benefit and development of PCH.
My gratitude is also expressed towards the members of the PCH Trust for their professional guidance and direction which helps the home stay on track. I especially thank Mr Mike Yeats who provides additional guidance and support to the home via the establishment of the Children’s Forum where he acts as the Chairperson. The forum is proving to be a worthwhile initiative allowing all local Children’s Homes to meet monthly and learn and share from this networking.
In the past year we faced the challenge of our social worker leaving PCH and must thank Val Vincent and Constance Madondo for dealing with the children’s daily issues until the post was filled by Bronwyn Van Wyk. Likewise we were pleased to announce the new General Manager, Fiona Balgobind who joined the PCH team. To all our staff I express our heartfelt thanks and Siyabonga to you for keeping up the good work and our hats go off to you because we understand that working with children is a difficult and complicated task.
PCH provided residential care to a total of 79 children in the period under review. We had four matriculates at the end of 2010 and this year we have three who will leave the home. I wish each of you good luck and remind you that the road ahead will be both challenging and rewarding and that irrespective of your history you now own your present and your future. So hold your heads up high and face each step you take with pride and confidence.
I wish to thank our major contributors who are the Department of Social Development and the Pietermaritzburg and District Community Chest. We will not be able to survive without the grants that they allocate to PCH. I also must thank all generous donors and sponsors throughout the year for your contributions in cash and kind. These help to keep our home functioning and we are able to meet our objectives in caring for our children.
Lastly I want to thank our children for conducting themselves well during the year and commend you for your positive attitudes towards life. Keep up the good work and good luck on the upcoming exams.
Mr Y Moosa
GENERAL MANAGER’S REPORT
“There can be no keener revelation of a Society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children” – Nelson Mandela
It gives me great pleasure to share some of the developments within PCH in the past financial period, and to acknowledge gratitude to the Almighty for his blessings over the organization, staff and especially our children.
One of the major challenges in terms of child care came in the light of the resignation of the social worker in March 2010, and the strain placed on all other staff to manage the social services of our children. It was subsequently a tremendous relief to fill this vacant post in October 2010 with Bronwyn Van Wyk who took on the burden of both catching up on the social work backlog and assisting with the General Manager’s functions, due to the Manager’s resignation in that same month. Likewise special mention and appreciation must be given to Val Vincent and Constance Madondo who held the organization together during those trying times!
Caring for children who are carrying the unfair burden placed on them by circumstances beyond their control comes with a tremendous challenge that our child care workers face on a daily basis. Attending to the more hidden and deeper issues that are tucked away behind a child’s behavior takes not only time, effort and patience, but a certain level of courage needed to handle the broken pieces of a child’s heart. The process of nurturing a hurt child is much more complex and one has to be able to give off them self in order to build a relationship of trust, honesty and mutual understanding, which is needed if one is going to play the role of an alternate parent to that child. I commend all our child care workers for taking on this role and thank them for their input, support and care of our children.
However, with the increasing pressure placed on all child and youth care centres to transform and meet the requirements of both the regulations and the Children’s Amendment Act 41 of 2007, PCH needs to gear itself in order to face these challenges and step up to the expectations. If our core function is to ensure that we attend to the best interests of the child, then this also implies that our children are entitled to have trained staff providing such care.
Some of the efforts to provide training included the Manager and Social Worker attending workshops on the Child Care Act, Sexual offences Act and Memory and accessing memory in children. The staff received training on the care of ill children via Hospice, and stress management and personal care by a trained psychologist. However the major challenge remained the inability to access relevant training for our child care workers due to the lack of funds.
Volunteers have a significant role to play within the organization and we are most appreciative of all professional volunteers who come in to provide specialized services during the course of the year. In terms of direct services, there are volunteers in all the units that assist with the planning of activities, and managing of child care programs. In terms of students, religious groups, business and other volunteers, more than thirty persons have come forward to assist PCH with activities, upgrades to our facility and play grounds and provided means to obtain needed requirements for the home’s daily functioning.
In terms of our children, awareness and educational programs are continuous and a few significant workshops held with them included the Human trafficking conducted by Department of Education, the child abuse program conducted by Childline and the Trafficking and abuse conducted by Red light. The process of encompassing the concept of child participation began with the introduction of the PCH children’s Forum with the election of the Unit representatives.
PCH also provided an aftercare program for our school leavers, which included support and guidance in terms of placements and tertiary education. One of our leavers is using her skills to run her small business, another is now studying engineering at University and PCH offers one child the benefit of residing with us during the weekends while she is part of the School Leavers Opportunity Training (SLOT), where she resides during the week. We are proud to provide such an extended service to the children who no longer fall under the protection of the Children’s Act.
The child care sector has been faced with numerous financial limitations. The organization has battled to find suitable funders to support the home over the past year. There is a huge demand for funds for every NPO in PMB and thus our resources are limited. The inability to access other funding such as fees for services or fundraising via our recipients is impossible due to the nature of the target group that we service.
The additional setback of the Department of Social Development not coming forward to subsidize the needed services of a social worker at a child care institution leaves us with little financial resources to rely on and there is a constant threat in terms of the home’s sustainability. It is therefore vital for PCH to hold on to the relationships developed with regular donors in cash and kind, and to constantly seek out new funders. On behalf of PCH I convey that very small but significant words of “thank you”, and salute you for embracing our motto of “Expect less…. Give more…..” I especially acknowledge the Department of Social Development, Community Chest and Ken Collins Trust for your continued financial contributions to PCH.
I take this opportunity to thank the members of the Trust for their guidance and advice, the Board of Directors for their time, support and willingness to give a little extra to PCH, the staff members (and particularly the drivers and domestic workers who are equally involved in child care) for being willing to embrace change and especially the Management team for their expertise and direction. Most importantly, a very special Thank you to our children and I end with this message to you:
“The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but significance and then even the small steps and little victories along the path will take on greater meaning”
CHILD CARE REPORT
Pietermaritzburg Children’s Home (PCH) provides residential care to children found by the children’s court to be in need of care and protection. They are therefore placed at the home, after an agreement between the children’s home and the placement agency, through recognized legal procedures. PCH’S aim is to provide a safe environment that will allow the children the best possible opportunity for growth and development. This is achieved by using a structured program that takes into account the children as a group and as an individual.
Pietermaritzburg Children Home accommodated 79 children between the ages of 6 – 18 years in the past year. The children are accommodated in four units with each unit being able to house at least twenty children. Children are placed in the units according to their age groups, i.e. junior girls (primary school), junior boys, senior girls (high schools) and senior boys. The children are cared for by child and youth care workers (CYCW) and there is always a CYCW (sometimes two) on duty in each unit.
Reunification services form part of the program and is the joint responsibility of the placement agency and the children’s home. Ideally children are not meant to spend more than two years in children’s home, as the home is meant to act as a temporary arrangement until the child’s home circumstances improve. The reality however is that the family home circumstances often take more than two years to improve, and the child remains in the care of PCH until permanent reunification is possible. Counselling – with the child and the relevant family members- will also form part of the process if necessary.
A total of nine children returned to their families. Two of these children successfully completed their Matric year and two completed their final year at Newton High School. Reunification takes place not only with immediate family members – because in some cases both parents are deceased-, but also with significant others like aunts, uncles or grandparents and sometimes adult cousins or siblings.
The children attended nine different schools which are either in or around the area. School attendance is also a prerequisite for admission to PCH. All children have to attend school. Refusal to attend school regularly can jeopardize the child’s placement at the home. Children who attend schools in the area walk to and from school. Children who attend school in the outline areas are transported to and from school.
Our children are encouraged to be involved in the community. Their involvement ranges from joining the library, to joining local sports clubs and attending the local churches. On admission to PCH each child is assessed and their needs identified.
One of the conditions for admission to the home is that PCH’S program has to be able to meet the child’s needs. While in the care of the home, the child is managed in terms of the program. This helps the placement agency and the children’s home determine whether or not being at PCH is of benefit to the child. The program for the above mentioned period included the following:
- Developmental Program
24 hour physical care, access to appropriate schooling and education, family reunification an d reintegration within the shortest possible time, assistance with disengaging from the program, Promotion of children’s rights, and mastering of age appropriate tasks
- Therapeutic Programs
Developmental assessment of children, individual counselling of children, referrals to specialized services e.g. psychologists or psychiatrists, and family meetings, dealing with the needs of the child.
- Sports (PCH netball and soccer teams as well as local soccer teams), outings to places of interest ( parks, animal farms, airports, soccer stadiums etc), drama classes.
Highlights for the year
- All of the children were treated to a soccer match at the Moses Mabida Stadium during the 2010 soccer season;
- The children were also allowed the opportunity to experience going to the airport. They were given a tour of the Oribi airport and were taken through the whole boarding procedure, and were even allowed to board the aircraft and view the cockpit;
- One of the matriculates started studying engineering at UKZN Durban;
- Another matriculate was given the opportunity to attend a program called SLOT (School Leavers Opportunity Training)
Bronwynn Van Wyk
For the Year ended 28 February 2011
The two main sources of income allowing the Pietermaritzburg Children’s Homes (‘the Home”) to continue to operate as a child and youth care centre providing the much needed accommodation and care to children in need, comprises the monthly government subsidy received from the Department of Social Development, as well as donations from various sources.
The monthly subsidy received, which is considered to be the “operating income” of the Home, did not suffice to cover the operating costs in the 2011 financial year. The Home incurred a net operating deficit of R684,891 for the year, slightly better than the R732,682 deficit incurred during the previous financial year. Fortunately much needed donations were received which resulted in the Home achieving an overall net surplus of R22,868 at year end.
The total donation income received by the Home amounted to R582,734, with R65,000 being received from Community Chest, R42,000 from the Ken Collins Trust, and the much appreciated balance of R475,734 from the local business community and individuals.
The operating costs of the Home are allocated as follows: Salaries comprise 56% of the costs, physical care and schooling of children comprise 24%, and the balance of 20% is absorbed by administrative costs.
The major significant asset of the Home is the property from which the Home operates. It is reflected at a value of just under R3.9 million. At year end the Home was in a net current asset position of R268,595, with bank and cash balances totalling R334,047.
Mrs L Merryweather
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