Child protection is the core work of the Social Work Project at VDP. It was initiated with the support of the Department of Social Development to tackle issues of child abuse and neglect in both Ocean View and Masiphumelele. Cases dealt with are varied, and include counselling with families, children’s court investigations, foster care placements and supervision, behavioural issues, parenting plan mediations, and counselling with regards to substance abuse.
The statutory work of removing abused and neglected children through the childrens court, increases at an alarmingly high rate. The Social Work Team are supported and guided by the magistrate of the childrens court in Simonstown, Mr Cornelius. We receive the support and co-operation of all the schools in Ocean View and Masiphumelele, as well as the clinics, False Bay hospital and Victoria Hospital. When requested the backup of SAPS in Ocean View is also provided.
Over half of children in South Africa experience some form of violence from a very early age. This can be physical violence by a care giver, teacher or relative. Sexual violence is under reported. Emotional abuse and neglect are common. These experiences hamper children’s development, self -esteem, learning ability and emotional security which have long term consequences on life expectancy and employment prospects.
There are many factors that contribute to the above, family dysfunction , socio-economic factors, our political history and substance abuse can be included. Violence in SA has become normal and is a cycle that is hard to break, however it is considered that violence is a learnt behaviour and can be undone.
The Eye on the Child Project
The Eye on the Child Project which forms part of the Social Work Programme, utilises trained volunteers who oversee the care of vulnerable children who are also fed daily through the Open Door’s Community Development Programme. Over the years the project which is situated within the community has grown to meet the requirements and needs of the community.