Streetlevel outreach and Drop-in centre for children living, working and begging on the street
Reason for the Project
Cape Town continues to experience a flood of children moving onto the street.
Children living, working and begging on the street are aggressively abused and exploited.
Street children need to be formally identified and assessed, their families identified and engaged with, and a plan of action drawn up to get them off the street as quickly as possible.
Street children live in a state of “fight or flight” and often bounce back and forth between the street and residential care until they stabilise.
Statutory social workers need street level assistance to identify and successful remove street children in crises, who do not respond to interventions, or who require removal into secure care for rehabilitation treatment.
Those who exploit, abuse, support and traffic children onto the street need to be identified and addressed
Purpose of the Project
To have a street outreach worker who can develop a trust relationship with street children, support them and help them to attend the drop-in programme, return to care, return to their families or be referred to statutory services.
To understand and link to the street environment so children can be identified, those in crises helped and those who exploit the children addressed and the public educated.
To provide a drop-in centre where street children, even those who just come onto the street periodically to beg, can get assistance, showers, food and formal assessment by a social worker, as well as the support they need, including a plan of action for each child, to successfully transition off the street.
To link children who live at home and come onto the street to beg to family and community level support services.
To provide after-care support to children who leave the street as a protective factor and to ensure that placements don’t break down or when they do that the outreach worker can return them back to care.
This project is currently working with 47 street children on the street and we are able to identify and intervene with new children moving onto the street.
The number of children living on the streets of Cape Town has declined by 90%
Street children continue to make the choice to leave street life and willingly get placed at the Homestead Shelter.
Children who abscond from care, even secure care, or who are missing are found on the street and returned to care.
Local communities now help with street children and the exploitation and abuse of street children has declined.
The image of street children has changed to children who are in need of care and protection.
Children living with their parents on the street returned to school life.
Through this programme the Homestead can respond to crises and problems with children on the street
The success of the Homestead Shelter in stabilising and transitioning hundreds of children away from street life has, as its foundation, the Homestead Yizani street outreach project.