- Identify, develop contact with and guide children living, working and begging on the street, as well as vulnerable community children who seem to be drifting towards the street, towards the appropriate Homestead programmes.
- Have ongoing contact with hardened children living on the street, work with them in The Homestead Drop-in centres and coordinate a holistic response to try and unlock such children from the street and transition them into a stable, therapeutic environment.
- Collaborate with business, government departments, the police, City improvement districts and others to help identify and monitor children coming onto the street as well as the exploitation and support that keeps children on the street and out of care.
- Ensure that children on the street are legally protected, that their families are identified and worked with, and that where necessary a legal process is begun to ensure such children are properly cared for and protected.
HOW TO HELP CHILDREN ON THE STREET
Any “child living, working or begging on the street” is, by South African law, a child in need of care and protection “. No child should therefore be on the street. The truth is however that the support children get on the street keeps them on the street and vulnerable to substance abuse, physical and sexual abuse, as well as exploitation from drug dealers, older street youth, paedophiles, criminal elements, etc.
- GIVING TO CHILDREN WHO BEG AFFIRMS STREET LIFE , IT KEEPS CHILDREN ON THE STREET
No child need live on the streets of Cape Town, The Homestead has the therapeutic residential care and development programmes, in Woodstock and in Khayelitsha, that children need for a healthy life away from the street . The Homestead never turns a child away. Unfortunately those who insist on giving to children who beg keeps these children out of care, keeps them locked on the street and supports their drug abuse. By giving to children who beg you affirm street life as the right choice, even worse you tell the child that those who exploit and abuse them on the street are doing the right thing.
- GIVING TO CHILDREN WHO BEG DESTROYS FAMILIES, IT DRAWS CHILDREN ONTO THE STREET.
Giving to children who beg encourages vulnerable children to leave home, their school and to move onto the street. Giving to children who beg also encourages adults to traffic vulnerable children onto the street so the children can beg on their behalf. Giving to children who beg undermines the family preservation, school support, poverty relief and development programmes that The Homestead has for vulnerable children in Valhalla Park, Manenberg, Woodstock and Khayelitsha.
- YOU CAN MAKE A REAL IMPACT, A REAL DIFFERENCE:
Build positive relationships with children on the street, they need our care , concern and protection.
Gently encourage such children to return home or to go to the Homestead Intake Shelter.
Do not ignore them, report such children to your nearest police station or to your local Department of Social Development office. By law DSD and SAPS must respond to any children living, working or begging on the street. Follow up, by law anyone may fill out a form 22 to report a child living, working or begging on the street to DSD. By law church ministers, teachers and the like MUST report such children.
Do not move or take these children home, to your home, or to The Homestead. Only designated social workers and the police may remove a child without parental consent. The Homestead can only accept a child if they self-refer or from a police officer or a designated social worker with the correct paperwork.
Help us to give children the care, education and development they deserve. Support professional and comprehensive intervention services for street children , support The Homestead.