Inclusive, Enabling Communities

Inclusive, Enabling Communities
Learning Brief

Leliebloem House

A short description of our Family-Reunification Programme

Category: Inclusive, Enabling Communities | Caring and protection of particularly vulnerable groups | 9 November, 2012 - 03:09

Leliebloem House was founded as a House of Mercy in 1868. It is a residential child and youth care centre for 84 children in difficult circumstances and in need of specialist care and intervention.  These children come from high-risk environments where very poor and negative socio­-economic conditions prevail. Some of them are from single parent families where unemployment, alcohol or drug abuse is prevalent. Some are neglected and abused, either sexually, physically or emotionally. And finally, some are at-risk because of poor parental control, emotional or physical deprivation.

Leliebloem house is a home-away-from-home for the children placed with us by the courts. The following programs are interlinked with our Residential Care Project, focusing on children, youth and their families:

  • Individual Treatment Care Plans of residential children
  • Hosting Program: screening and training of future foster parents.
  • Life Skills Programs
  • Family reunification program
  • Adolescent development program
  • Specialized Behaviour Management Programme
  • ISIBJNDJ program (servicing additional 75 children in Gugulethu without removing  them from the community, 100 children in Schaapkraal, 100 children Tafelsig,100 children in Westlake)

We work in the Athlone, Wynberg, Mitchell's  Plain, Paarl, Strand and Worcester Magisterial Districts.

We recognise the importance of families and the sense of belonging that is created within the family bonds. Children should grow up in healthy stable families and grow into strong, well developed individuals as a result. Unfortunately the opposite is often the reality we are faced with in South Africa. Our family reunification programme, running since 1993, aims to restore family breakdown.

The family reunification programme is aimed at sustainable reintegration of the child back to the biological family, extended family, host family and the community within the shortest timeframe possible. The programme works holistically with the child and family based on a strength-based approach- we try to change the family’s focus from what they lack to what they already have. The programme offers parenting workshops where we aim to assist parents to adjust their parenting styles and to nurture their children emotionally. Our biggest challenge is to get all parents to attend the workshops. We also render assistance to both the parent and the child when the child is attending our youth care centre. This ensures that the family returns home with skills that will positively impact the family and also the broader community.

Our support groups address the child's needs and understanding of the family reunification plan. Children who are identified to return to their families are well informed about the challenges they may face in their communities and are equipped to deal with everyday challenges. These sessions gives the child the platform to ask questions and afford them the opportunity to work on their survival skills and strategies.  We are however often faced with the challenge that the children are prepared for this process and the family not. Sometimes we have to work longer and harder with certain families and therefore the aftercare support is crucial. Aftercare support is an often neglected area with no legislation that directs the service. It is however crucial that children and youth exiting residential care programs are ensured safe passage back to the community and that there is adequate continuum of services available to them.

Family reunification can bring about changes in behaviour, instil hope, increase knowledge and promote self-reliance. Through our on-going workshops and support group sessions we hope that our education of families will also impact their communities by contributing to the alleviation of crime, creating awareness of health issues and other socio-economic factors.


Off Belgravia Road, Crawford, Athlone, Cape Town

 (021) 697-4947/8/9

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