Putting the welfare of children first

2016-10-25 06:00
Ellen Attwell points shows the empty food shelves. Photo: nosipho mkhize

Ellen Attwell points shows the empty food shelves. Photo: nosipho mkhize

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THE Pinetown-Highway Child and Family Welfare Society (PHCFWS) was informally started in 1931 by a concerned group of women who felt that Pinetown needed a child welfare society.

In 1932 the society became affiliated with the National Council and from the beginning the community got involved not only by providing material support, but also child protection support. The organisation functioned only with the assistance of volunteers until 1969 when the society appointed the first professional social worker.
PHCFWS spokesperson Ellen Attwell said: “In 1975 the first director was appointed. The high rate of unemployment in the 1980s saw hundreds of families approaching the society for help and community development workers initiated income-generating projects to assist families.
The society now has a full team of social workers, development and administrative staff who work with women, children and the youth. With the onset of HIV/Aids epidemic the society has actively taken on the challenge, despite the added pressure on already overburdened staff.

The society provides child protection services that initiates awareness about children’s rights and responsibilities through various programmes and holds life skills workshops in communities.
Therapeutic services are provided to individuals and families, to abused, abandoned and orphaned children and their parents and caregivers. Services are provided to groups with children and their families infected and affected by HIV/Aids.
Includes services for statutory intervention, support groups for foster parents and foster children.
The society also manages one community care home in KwaDabeka.

“Our mission is to protect and care for children within and outside families, to strengthen families and community life through rendering therapeutic and community development services to families and communities experiencing problems. To create community awareness and concern for the basic needs of children and families in a bid to empower communities to assume responsibility for their children and strengthen the concept of Ubuntu.”

The society has sub offices namely at Impola Clinic, St. Wendolins, Mariannridge Clinic, Wyebank Clinic, Mariannhill, Molweni Resource Centre, KwaNyuswa, KwaNgcolosi, Shallcross Clinic, Tshelimnyama Clinic, Burlington Crèche, Luganda Resource Centre, Savannah Park Community Hall, Dassenhoek Councillors office.

“Many people turn to the society for assistance and in the light of the present economic state of the country is in dire need of food who have no items such as groceries, canned products, sugar, flour, mealie-meal, rice, dried beans and lentils, peanut butter, jam, samp, tea bags, powdered milk etc. The society with the generous support of the community and business provides food parcels for those in dire need. The society is running short of food and we are pleading to the community to donate to the society.”

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