The Bridge CYCC

The Bridge CYCC Programme Manager:
Ricardo J. Rossouw

Ricardo J. Rossouw is a social worker with an interest in the field of child development, mental
health and LGBTQI matters. He holds a Masters in Social Work from the University of the Western
Cape. Ricardo also has a keen interest in academics and supervises students in Social Work and
Auxiliary Social Work at The Homestead CYCC in Khayelitsha, where he serves as facility manager.


The Bridge CYCC involves therapeutic residential care and development for 65 Boys Aged 7 to 17.

Reason for the Project

  • Cape Town continues to have large numbers of children who come onto the street to live, work and beg.
  • The street environment is too harsh, abusive, exploitative and detrimental to children and their physical and mental health, they need to be transitioned off the street and into care as quickly as possible.
  • Street children are usually not able to move directly back home due to family dysfunction and because of the unsettled nature of street children who exhibit behavioural and substance abuse problems.
  • Street children are traumatised children because of the chronic neglect, physical and mental abuse and exploitation they have suffered, they therefore need a therapeutic residential programme to address these issues.
  • Street children have substance abuse and behavioural challenges as well as developmental and education delays.
  • Street children require consistent and ongoing support and live in a “fight or flight” emotional state, sometimes absconding back to street life as soon as life gets challenging.
  • Children who live, work, and beg on the street need a residential based programme to successful transition away from street life and back to their families

Purpose of the Shelter

  • To provide appropriate, therapeutic and developmental residential care so street children can successfully transition away from street life and back to their families.
  • To provide a structured and formal stabilisation process, one that enables the child to reconstruct their shattered lives, sort out substance abuse and behavioural issues, reconnect with their families, reignite their school career, and access extra mural activities.
  • To offer a gentle, non-judgemental but firm and consistent daily structure that offers street children the patience, space and ongoing support they need through the ups and downs of their transitional process, one that compliments family life and processes underlying trauma.
  • To provide an appropriate residential facility for street children that is well away from the dangers, attractions and their vulnerability to street life and those wanting to exploit Street Children.
  • To provide a well-resourced facility situated within a stable welcoming community environment so children reconnect with community life and develop sound peer relationships

Impact of the Shelter

  • 160 street children are helped annually through the Homestead residential projects.
  • Ex Homestead boys, or Homestead graduates can be found happily living normal lives.
  • This project consistently runs at over 90% capacity with an absconding rate of less than 10%.
  • The Homestead has been instrumental in reducing the number of children living and begging on the street by 90%
  • Formal School attendance is at 55% and climbing.

Launchpad CYCC Transitional Programme

Launchpad Programme Manager: Liezl Conradie

Liezl Conradie is a social worker with a passion for empowering youth, with a special interest in
youth transitioning out of care. She holds a B.Psych and Social work degree as well as a Postgraduate
diploma in Addiction care from the University of Stellenbosch. Liezl started her career in the United
Kingdom where she worked for 4 years and gained valuable experience before she returned to South
Africa. Liezl has been working at the Homestead since 2012. She is currently the Programme
Manager for the Homestead’s Transitional Program, The LaunchPad as well as the Yizani Drop-in
centre manager.


The LaunchPad Youth Transition Project involves transitional residential care for youth aged 15 to 21 who are preparing to leave care, return home or move on to independent living

Reason for Launchpad Project

  • Youth, who grew up as children on the street, often relapse back to substance abuse, problematic behaviour, or street life once they leave residential care.
  • Youth in care need independent living skills, personal interests, social networks, and maturity if they are to succeed.
  • Youth in care need a less institutional environment within which they can take more personal responsibility, help manage their daily lives, complete their schooling and developing work, tertiary study, extra mural and community-work experience
  • Youth in care need an intense youth focused therapeutic program to deal with deep underlying trauma
  • Youth who leave care need formal and ongoing networks and aftercare support.

Purpose of the Shelter

  • To ensure that youth who leave the Homestead are well set for a future path into successful adulthood.
  • To help the youth prepare for the practical considerations of accommodation, day to day living skills, necessary documentation (ID, bank account, etc)
  • To help the youth complete their schooling and develop education and/or employment opportunities for when they leave care.
  • To address past trauma and to ensure the youth focus on their future so they do not constantly get drawn back to their past and relapse into unhealthy behaviours or street life
  • To create a system of interdependent living and ongoing reciprocal care systems so youth are not abandoned into adulthood.

Impact of Launchpad Project

  • Since opening in February 2016 this project has shown a 100% success rate of stabilising youth out of care and into independent living and employment.
  • The number of shelter children now motivated to stabilise and enter this project has risen dramatically, by over 120%
  • The sharp spike in the number of volunteer and community groups wanting to work in this programme proves a stable development environment.
  • Participation by the youth in a wide variety of community, work and social commitments has changed these youth from passive recipients to active citizens helping to put back into our community .

Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) Programme

PEI Programme Manager: Nozuko Nothwanya

Nozuko Nothwanya holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and is currently finishing her Master’s
in Public Administration both from the University of the Western Cape. She is currently working as a
the Programme Manager for the Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI), focused on the provision of
psychosocial support and family preservation to disadvantaged children and families in Khayelitsha,
Manenberg and Valhalla Park. Prior to this she conducted play therapy and counselling for child
victims of sexual abuse, bereavement, and trauma counselling. She strongly believes that a safe and
conducive family and community makes a well-rounded happy child and therefore a child cannot be
“helped ” in isolation.

Early Intervention and Protection involves formal intervention and support projects keeping chronically neglected, physically and mentally abused, and street vulnerable children, in Street Children Communities-of-origin at home, in school and away from street life.

Reason for the project

  • Traumatised children from dysfunctional families drop out of school, fall into substance abuse and high risk behaviour. Eventually they move permanently out onto the street
  • Children living, working and begging on the street need consistent family and community level support if they are to successfully transition back home and to school.
  • Children with a disadvantaged family status, in violent dysfunctional communities, and who suffer from chronic neglect, physical and mental abuse, and exploitation will end up on the street if they do not get harm-reduction support.
  • Vulnerable community children continue to fall through the gaps and need to be identified, assessed, and referred when necessary to statutory services and support.
  • Community Children, who need care and protection, often do not need to be removed from their families if they can get the right support and development

Purpose of Project

  • To create an effective link between statutory services and the most vulnerable community children by completing formal assessment, therapeutic, IDP and referral services to ensure children either get the care and protection they need or the support they need to stay with their families
  • To provide daily case management of vulnerable child that reduce the number of children failing out of family and school life, that develops resilience to domestic problems, abuse, community violence, substance abuse, negative behaviour issues and gangsterism.
  • To provide vulnerable children with access to a safe consistent space and family preservation, school attendance, school aftercare, crises intervention, nutritional, life-skill, development and therapeutic support services, including holiday programmes
  • To empower children and their families with the knowledge and skills they need to cope with their own issues by offering community awareness programmes, family support and parental development and training programmes, as well as brokering links between the family and the services they need


  • Supporting over 400 children a week in Valhalla Park, Manenberg and Khayelitsha to stay away from street life.
  • Children are formally assessed and so as to each have an Individual Development Plan ensuring they, and their families get the support, intervention and skills they need to stay at home and at school.
  • Children attending these projects are inn obvious better health, are more stable, remain at home, and are more successful at school
  • Parents, who previously had neglected their children, now more willing to participate in training opportunities, be referred to and supported in rehab and other services, and now, with the necessary skills and support engage constructively in the care of their own children.
  • The local community and schools now able to refer children in need of care and protection to the Homestead instead of these children falling out of school and moving onto the street.
  • Number of children moving onto the street from these communities has noticeably declined.
  • Number of children needing to be removed into alternative care has declined.
  • Children in alternative care now, with the support of these projects, are able to return home to their families.

Street Outreach and Drop-In Center

Street Outreach and Yizani Drop-in Centre is a 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.