Working with children & families
Our vision is that children will not be abused anymore, but where they are being abused, we want to provide efficient and professional services that effectively promote their healing and stop any further abuse. This translates into a mission to minimize any secondary harm to children and their families upon their entering the child protection system.
Victim Support Services:
- The Teddy Bear Foundation’s Medico-legal Clinic is a specialised medical facility for children who have been abused or neglected and a training service for medical professionals working in the child protection field. It is based within the Charlotte Maxexe Academic Hospital, and is run by a multi-disciplinary team of Paediatricians, Doctors, Forensic nurses, Social Workers and volunteers.
- Forensic assessments form the basis of court proceedings in convicting perpetrators of violence against children. They take the form of a structured process where the child is engaged through various techniques, by our most qualified Social Workers. The aim is to elicit information from the child victim regarding the details of an alleged crime, and then to verify these through collateral sources, such as witnesses and other people known to the victim.
- This service was established specifically for children with cognitive disabilities for the purpose of providing them with fair access to the criminal justice system. In the context of sexual abuse cases, the psychological assessment that has to be conducted depends on the psychological questions posed by the court. In most cases, the psychological assessments are aimed at determining the victims’ mental age as opposed to their chronological age, their capacity to testify with regard to an alleged crime and the impact of the trauma on the victims.
Therapeutic Counseling and Support
- Child abuse causes trauma and emotional scars that can have a negative impact on a child’s development and result in long-term consequences. Every victim of child abuse and their family is provided with the opportunity to receive therapeutic counseling and support. This enables the child and family to assume a sense a mastery to cope with the trauma. Supportive counseling is also provided to the caregivers of children who have been abused, as our experience has been that the better equipped the caregivers are to cope with the trauma, the better able they are to support the child through the process.
Court Preparation and Support
- The Court Preparation and Support programme was established in June 1997. It focuses on providing children and parents with skills, emotional support and legal knowledge in preparation for their appearance in court. The programme is process-oriented in that it provides support for the children and their families from the moment they enter the programme, right through the often lengthy legal process, and thereafter with debriefing.
School awareness programme (SAFE)
- The SAFE program is a prevention model creating awareness in learners and educators about their rights and responsibilities. This expands on acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. This program also has a protocol training manual for educators on the identification , management and legislation pertaining to cases of child abuse.
Sexual Violence Initiative in Schools (SEVISA)
- This project addresses gender based violence in schools. It focuses on zero tolerance to sexual violence in schools. Girls leadership clubs have been developed in many schools.
Support Programme for Abuse Reactive Children
- The SPARC program gives the children a second chance in life by diverting them away from the criminal justice system and stopping them from becoming potential offenders
The Teddy Bear Foundation is one of the few organisations that provide holistic integrated services to children that have been abused, and we have been doing so since 1986.