Programmes key to protecting kid’s rights

2018-03-27 06:01

Local non-profit organisation Hope House Counselling Centre in Bergvliet has emphasised the importance of safeguarding children’s rights through strengthening family units.

The latest Child Gauge, published by UCT’s Children’s Institute, found that 33% of South African children are victims of sexual and physical abuse.

Judy Strickland, child counsellor and founder of Hope House, says when abuse is taking place in the home, family members are not aware of how to be supportive.

“Children do not get the help they need. This can have long-lasting effects on the child’s psychological, educational and social development,” she says.

Young children can only access support services and the courts with assistance from a trusted adult – often the first port of call is a family member, yet not all families are equipped to handle a report of abuse from a child.

“Children are among the most vulnerable members of society and are dependent on their families, schools and the government for protection. If we are to address the high rates of child abuse, this is where we need to intervene,” says Strickland.

Interventions in family life have been shown to reduce the occurrence of abuse and neglect. “Research in the United States shows lower rates of substance abuse in communities with family programmes. Studies have also shown that fathers who are involved in their children’s lives from birth are less likely to abuse them later on in life, with the simple intervention of involving fathers early on having a long-lasting positive effect on the child’s upbringing,” says Strickland.

Adapting this knowledge to a local context, Hope House has been running Strengthening Families workshops. Strickland and her team work with families to address broken communication, trust and stability. Participants in the programme report that they have gained greater empathy with other family members.

“Family members gain a greater understanding of what is expected of them within the unit. This means that when a child is in trouble, they have a safe place to turn to and seek advice and help,” she says.

Hope House Counselling Centre has been providing donation-based counselling services to the Cape Town community for 14 years.

V For more information, visit www.hopehouse.org.za or email Judy Strickland at judy.hopehouse@gmail.com.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.