Therapeutic Programmes

A number of therapeutic activities are run at the Centre to accommodate the children’s individual developmental needs. Some of these activities are:

It is important that we render services to the child based on a care plan drawn up before the child is admitted to the centre. Part of this plan is to try and strengthen the biological families bond with the child, in the attempt to re-unify the child with the family. We accommodate this through facilitating regular visits between the family and the child. We provide the family with food and support over certain weekends and holidays that allow the child to stay with the family for short periods of time. We encourage families to visit the children at the centre where our social workers can render professional services to them. We have regular meetings with the children’s family re-unification social worker where the child’s individual development plan and care plan are evaluated and adjusted.

Some of our children are in need of intense emotional and psychological support. We do our best to accommodate these children by utilizing our therapeutic team’s skills at assessing the problem and developing a plan to address the concern. Our social workers offer regular counseling to troubled youth as well as play therapy for our younger children. We utilize our state health care system as well as the private sector to organise treatment with psychiatrists, psychologists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and physiotherapists.

One of the primary roles of all children is to get a good education to prepare them for adult life. We offer the following services to our children:

a. Transport.
We bus our children to 20 different schools in Port Elizabeth every school day and bus them back in every afternoon. We make all available efforts to ensure that the children are given opportunities to participate in sport and recreation events at the schools, as well as participate in extra classes or remedial education at their school.

b. Homework support.
As part of the routines that the children comply with, we have specific study times when the children are required to do homework, finish school assignments and learn for tests and exams.
Our child and youth care workers and community volunteers assist the children with these assignments.

c. Umicare Remedial School.
Often our children come from backgrounds where education was not given a high priority due to circumstances at home or lack of resources in the community. As such the remedial school was founded in order to give children from grade 1 -3 an opportunity to receive intensive remedial schooling to catch them up with main stream education. Their remedial teacher assesses where there educational backlog exists and develops an individual curriculum to encourage them to develop their knowledge base. They also receive the support of a speech therapist, occupational therapist and psychologist should they need it. After two years the child is reassessed and placed back into main stream education if they are ready.

d. Umicare Learning Centre.
An extension of the remedial school is the learning centre. The children from grade 4 – 7 receive remedial lessons twice a week in the afternoons after their school day.   The purpose is to support the children and ensure that they continue to progress at school. By ensuring that they succeed in their school we develop their sense of mastery and competence which in turn promotes a positive self image in the child.

Our vision is to develop our children into well-adjusted productive citizens. We therefore offer a variety of skills development courses in order to equip our children with employable skills. We do this through the following programmes:

a. Ray Mhlaba Skills Training and Resource Centre.
Historically, youths left the children’s home once they turned 18. Now we offer them the opportunity to complete vocational training and life skills training. We also extend this service to our children’s family and other previously disadvantaged youth. The skill centre trains our youth in hairdressing, cooking and baking, laundry skills, woodwork and sewing.

b. Umicore Halfway Home.
This home provides the opportunity for five youth to complete their tertiary education. The youth are encouraged to complete their studies while living in a more adult orientated environment. They are expected to manage their home themselves, while a professional youth worker supports and encourages their maturity into young adults. The youth choose the field of study they are interested in, and this privately sponsored programme ensures that they receive all the support and equipment needed to complete this course.