PIETERMARITZBURG CHILDREN’S HOME
002 213 NPO NUMBER
2014 / 2015
“Celebrating New Beginnings…”
Investing in the Best Interest of each Child in our Care
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 implements programmes for the preparation of children for return to parental care, substitute care or responsible and independent adult living.
PCH endeavors 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 organization.
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
“Investing in the best interest of each child in our care”
Ladies and gentlemen, I hereby present the Chairman’s report for the past financial year for the Pietermaritzburg Child and Youth Care Centre. At the outset I wish to draw your attention to the term that I am using in place of Pmb Children’s Home. ‘It is a positive move which denotes conscious efforts to de-stigmatize the environment that our children live in.
In line with this move the composition of the staff has also seen some changes. The Children’s Act dictates that people involved in childcare be suitably qualified to deal adequately with the challenges that children present with. A significant percentage of unqualified and unsuitable staff was dismissed in 2014. Consequently we continued with volunteers who became interns and also recruited people of caliber and potential. Currently most of our child care staff are registered with the Council. These positive changes in staffing have translated to a more pleasant atmosphere in our centre and a better demeanor of our children.
The Pmb CYCC is proud to be associated with successes that our outgoing children have posted and we feel that they are ambassadors for the children that are still under our wing. We are proud that one of our past pupils is in his second year at university. Our learners who are presently in grade twelve need to take note of the achievements of their predecessors. The bar has been set high and they need to step up to the challenge.
Overall our children are well behaved and a sense of calm is evident on the premises. The staff and volunteers of PMB CYCC are to be commended for the sterling work that they do. It is certainly most challenging and almost impossible to replicate the conditions that one finds in an ideal home and in an ideal world. I wish to acknowledge the outstanding and excellent leadership that Mrs Fiona C. Balgobind demonstrates. She is supported by a strong Management Team. Together they do a fine job in providing for our children’s needs. A special mention needs to be made of our drivers and the security personnel who ensure the safety of our children. The website that we have established has put us in touch with NGO’s and donors. I thank Chris, Zane and Lee for sharing their expertise and making us IT compatible.
I would fail in my duty if I do not applaud the great sacrifice that is made by our Board of Directors and the Trust members. The Trust members guide and provide financial oversight to the Board. A special thanks goes out to Mike Yeats and Dem Kambouris for their expert guidance. PMB CYCC is fortunate to have at our disposal human resource that is selfless and caring. We benefit greatly from their expertise. I also hasten to acknowledge the services of the Youth Representatives who have to deal with the pressure from their electorate as well as with the daunting task of being the voice of the rest of the children in Board meetings. Their reward is the invaluable skills that are being passed on to them under the mentorship of the staff and Board members.
I thank Nisha Mewalall who has rendered wonderful service to this establishment. Regrettably personal circumstances forced her to bid us farewell. At this point I wish to welcome our incoming treasurer Ricardo Moodley. I acknowledge the many excellent people and humanitarians who associate themselves with Child and Youth Care Centres. I especially wish to salute those of us who soldier on doggedly despite serious limitations brought on by illness. We can only wish that such colleagues are able to recover completely from their illnesses or at best that they are as comfortable as humanly possible. We at PMB CYCC are eternally grateful for the sacrifices that these colleagues make.
A year or two ago the prospect of adding a new building/wing to our premises seemed impossible and ambitious! You will have noticed that this is now a reality. There is also a very productive garden on site where our vegetables are thriving. In closing I acknowledge the following benefactors: Pmb Community Chest, National Lotteries Board and Department of Social Development.
Mr. A.E.O. Jasson, Chairperson
GENERAL MANAGER’S REPORT
“In life there is a reason and a season for everything….”
I am in many ways proud to be submitting my annual report for the past financial period. This 2014/2015 year was, I believe one of the most challenging years ever in the rich history of our 129 years of existence.
I am proud of the fact that PCYCC has not lost sight of our core business, which is, working in the best interest of our children. This vision was what started this organization, and more than a century later we continue to strive to meet the same vision – the only difference is that we can now do so in a more professional context. And, yes we have remained committed to the National Association’s vision and to the basic principles underlying the Children’s Act.
The Management team and Board members started this year off on a very difficult note with the unexpected upheaval of child care services by the previous set of staff members. This took us through a challenging journey from April to November 2014, where numerous disciplinary processes were in progress and ultimately eleven staff members were dismissed. During this time I must place on record my sincere gratitude to the Board of Directors and especially Mr D Naidoo for the expert manner in which PCYCC handled a somewhat volatile situation.
Our turnover of staff was both a disappointment but also a blessing for us. Our dedicated volunteers and extremely stressed management team were able to finally take a deep breath, re-focus and celebrate the end of a negative chapter in PCH’s life.
Research clearly states that a successful organization finds success by knowing how to take its weaknesses and make them strengths, and by taking its threats and making them opportunities. In this trying times we had the wonderful opportunity to re-align our services and re-structure the manner in which we provided child care, and were able to change our duty roster and meet the ratio’s as per the Children’s Act without it having financial impact on the home.
Such a change in our daily rosters created space for the child care staff to meet weekly for their operational needs and weekly in-service training’s could then be initiated, which has had a huge impact on our service delivery.
Pressure remained on all Child and Youth Care Centres to meet the informational requirements of the Children’s Act. We completed the complicated process of re-registration with the Department as a Child and Youth Care Centre. This application was submitted in November 2014 and in March 2015 we received our registration certificate.
Training remained a key aspect, as some of our new interns and volunteers continued to complete a few more modules both in Pietermaritzburg and Durban in 2015. However we experienced many challenges with this process, and consulted with the NACCW regional committee to negotiate for training in Pietermaritzburg. After some discussions, we are looking forward to the FETC training starting in early 2016 in PMB, and are pleased that many of our interns are keen to continue their studies. Our team was strengthened with the appointment of our new social worker Ms N Mhlophe in September 2014, and the appointment of more staff that have completed their FETC. In terms of direct services, the child care workers at auxiliary level, interns and volunteers were involved in planning of activities and managing of child care programmes. A core focus was placed on the Garden Programme with PCYCC taking over the entire project from March 2015. There has been tremendous learning’s and skills transfer through this process, and the garden has expanded to a significant level in the recent months, with the addition of the nursery and expansion of beds in phase three.
In terms of students, religious groups, business and other volunteers, over eighty persons assisted with activities, programmes, up-grades or provided means to obtain needed requirements for the home’s daily functioning. We are thankful especially to St Charles and Hilton College learners who attended regularly to interact with our boys.
In terms of our children, many of our intended programmes were disrupted for a few months during the challenges with the previous staff members. However psychological, social, therapeutic, religious and educational programmes continued in this time. The Garden programme served as a neutral ground to stay focused and sustained some level of stability and normality during a tense and unstable period.
The process of embracing the concept of child participation continued with our youth representatives. A special acknowledgement must be made of our youth reps who proved their capabilities and levels of maturity during the difficult transition of children dis-engaging from the previous staff members and embracing the new staff as their care workers. Two of the youth reps remained, whilst it took time for the seniors to elect two new reps.
Despite several challenges, the representatives were able to engage with children in the cottages and met with the management team and Board members during the year to discuss issues of concern. Two reps or all four regularly voiced children’s concerns at monthly Board meetings. PCYCC continued to participate at the regional Youth forum, but also supported the sub-regional youth forum meetings.
Our resource Centre continued to function, and we are most thankful for the monthly sponsorship from Crickmay & Associates. Effort was made to motivate seniors to read, and many have been enjoying the FUNDZA books that we receive. The children have used this centre as a key space for development by using the resources available for their school assessments and projects. We continued to support school leavers, as part of our aftercare, and offered support to one ex-matriculate from 2013 who is currently completing his degree in Political Science and Law. As an institution we continued to lobby for funding for our social work post and an increase in the per capita funds received from Department of Social Development.
The months of stress and instability at the home in 2014, allowed us to identify our true supporters and friends. I convey my sincere appreciation to all of them and take this opportunity to thank all our Donors, Trust members, Board of Directors, all Staff, and especially the Management Team for continuing on our challenging journey of transformation and growth.
This journey, in many ways – the new building, the revamped garden, energized staff members and the regained sense of trust from our children marks a new season for all of us ….
God Bless, Fiona Balgobind
CHILD CARE REPORT
It gives me great pleasure as a new social worker to PCH to present my first annual report. As a worker coming in September 2014, I was faced with many challenges to start building relationships with children who were not willing to do the same with myself. In my profession social work cannot take place without first getting the relationship working, so I am thankful for a good team and supervisor for helping me through such a transition. Pietermaritzburg Children’s Home (PCH) provides residential care to a maximum of 75 children, who have been found by the children’s court to be in need of care and protection. They are placed at the home, after an agreement between the home and the placement agency, through such recognized legal procedures.
PCH’s aim is to provide a safe environment that allows children the best possible opportunity for growth and development. This goal is achieved by utilizing a structured program that takes into account the children as a group and as an individual.
Pietermaritzburg Children Home accommodated 85 children in the last year. The children were between the ages of 5 – 21 years. 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 16 child and youth care workers (CYCW). They work on a shift basis. i.e. Monday morning to Wednesday morning day and night shift and the next shift Wednesday morning to Friday morning.
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.Reunification is a process. In the cases where reunification is possible, the child and the family are given time to adjust to being a part of each other’s lives. Relationships are rebuilt by allowing the child and family to spend time together, or the child going to the family home for day visits, which then progress to weekend visits, then holiday visits and eventually the child returns to the family permanently. Counseling – with the child and the relevant family members- will also form part of the process if necessary.A total of sixteen children returned to their families. 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 attend twelve different schools in or around the area. School attendance is a prerequisite for admission to PCH. Our children have been actively involved in several programmes at the community level. This included local events in Woodlands’ local sports clubs, several church related events, and joint programmes eg Heritage day and Youth Day with other CYCCs. Our children also observe all the national public holidays. They rotate in their unit to host the activities.
The program for the above period included the following:
– Developmental Program: 24 hour physical care, access to appropriate schooling and education, family reunification and reintegration within the shortest possible time, assistance with disengaging from the program, Promotion of children’s rights, and mastering age appropriate tasks
– Therapeutic Programs: Developmental assessment of children, individual counseling of children, referrals to specialized services e.g. psychologists or psychiatrists, assessment centres and family meetings, dealing with the needs of the child.
– Recreation: Sports (PCH netball and soccer teams as well as local soccer teams), outings to places of interest, drama classes, exposure to theatre and plays.
Highlights for the year:
– PCH hosted their third annual prize giving where children were acknowledged for the achievements and positive behavior throughout the year
– PCH created a resource centre with the help of a sponsor.
– PCH has started a Gardening Project which teaches our children skills in organic farming.
– PCH has introduced a Book Club with the help from Fundza Books.
– PCH has partnered with the Woodlands Library, our children are taking full advantage of this and many have become members of the local library.
– Three children were assigned to mentors. Mentors act as role models and sometimes host parents to the children.
– PCH prides itself with the fact that three of our children are doing Matric, and we hope they will do well in their final exam.
– Four referrals were made to PGSES.
Ntokozo Mhlophe, Social Worker
(For the Year ended 28 February 2015)
The Pietermaritzburg Children’s Homes (PCH) continues to operate as a child and youth care centre, providing the accommodation and care to children in need. The primary source of funding remains as the monthly government subsidy received from the Department of Social Development, as well as donations from various sources.
The home has a net surplus of R218 158 at year end. Financial results as follows:
|Net (Deficit) / Surplus||218,158||-154%||-400,606||-50%|
|Operating expenses by major category|
|Staff Expenses & Benefits||1,486,791||-10%||1,653,125||-3%|
|Direct Child Care Expenses||803,201||-28%||1,114,698||18%|
|Repairs and Maintenance||168,165||68%||100,364||-39%|
Increase in net surplus was due to increase in other income from community involvement and Lottery funds.
Operating expenses increased in transport expenses, clothing, housekeeping, repairs, and maintenance, marketing and professional services.
Decrease in number of staff members and staff turnover has resulted in decrease in staff costs.
|Cash and Cash Equivalents||208,234||-93%||3,095,855||-1104%|
|Property and Equipment||3,088,690||-3%||3,189,531||4%|
|Ken Collins Trust||42,000||42,000|
The unexpected allocation of the National Lottery funds for the 2011 period was a key factor in allowing PCH to sustain our current status and meet our financial deficit for the year. For this we humbly acknowledge the National Lotteries Board.
In the past year effort has been made by the organization to source further funding from corporate donors, funding applications and telemarketing.
Mr. R Moodley, Treasurer
PIETERMARITZBURG CHILD AND YOUTH
THANKS YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT!!
“Live life to the fullest and never ever look back, there is a reason for the future and a reason for the past
Love till it hurts and laugh till you cry and when your life flashes before you, make it worthwhile
Be happy for what you have done and be happy for what you have overcome, and most of all always be proud of what you have become “