AGM Report 2011-2012
PIETERMARITZBURG CHILDREN’S HOME
002 213 NPO
2011 / 2012
The Pietermaritzburg Children’s Home (PCH) provides residential care, management and treatment for troubled and abused children and youth who have been removed from parental custodianship and placed in our custody by recognized legal procedures.
PCH also implements programmes for the preparation of children for return to parental care, substitute care or responsible and independent adult living.PCH endeavours to meet the needs of these children and youth in an effective and efficient manner subject only to resource constraints and the preservation of the integrity of the organization.
- To provide residential care, observation, assessment, and treatment programmes for children and youth admitted to PCH.
- To facilitate the provision of normal and special education for all children and youth admitted to PCH.
- To ensure the medical well being of all children by facilitating the provision of information / relevant material to staff, children and youth and by hosting life skills sessions on all health related issues including sexual behavior, sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and all other matters relating to HIV/AIDS.
- To provide our children with the opportunity to enjoy social, spiritual and recreational activities within and outside of PCH.
- To create opportunities for the Child Care Workers and volunteers to receive training and develop further in the field of Child Care.
- To create opportunities for PCH to assist in educating unemployed persons via knowledge dissemination, on-the-job training on Child Care and providing them with relevant experience in order to help them seek employment, and increase community involvement
ACTING CHAIRPERSON’S REPORT
The Pietermaritzburg Children’s Home (PCH) has had another meaningful year as a child and youth care facility providing services to vulnerable children and their families. I wish to thank the entire PCH Child Care team under the leadership of Mrs Fiona Balgobind, for the consistent care they offer to children, every day and all day. The administrative team offers outstanding support and I thank each PCH staff member most sincerely.
I stepped into the Acting Chairperson position when Mr Yunus Moosa resigned in December 2011. On behalf of the Board, I would like to acknowledge the contribution made by Mr Yunus Moosa while he served on the Board for many years. He was always willing to step in to assist at PCH and was excellent in his guidance with negotiations with the Union. I also record the resignations of Mrs Y Moosa, Mrs K Goosen, Mr B Ngcamu and Ms P Maboetwa. The current Board members are Mr A Jasson (Vice Chairperson) Mrs L Merryweather (Treasurer) Mrs S Maree (Secretary) and Mr L du Preez.
The Board members spend many hours each month providing oversight and guidance and I wish to record my thanks to each Board member for their commitment and hard work.
To the members of the PCH Trust, thanks for providing financial oversight and support to the PCH Board. I would like to make special mention of Mr Paul Shone who has recently resigned as a PCH Trustee after many, many years of service to PCH.
To continue to operate the services and programmes offered to children, PCH depends on the financial contributions made by donors and funders. I especially thank the National Lotteries Board, the Department of Social Development and the Pietermaritzburg and District Community Chest. Our financial sustainability is a major concern and the Board needs to seek creative ways to raise funds.
The Board’s fund raising committee recently planned and co-ordinated two fundraising events, a supper theatre and a combined children’s concert. Another challenge ahead is to address the training needs of the child care staff to align with the professional standards determined by the provisions of the Children’s Act. This will require special fundraising efforts, as the accredited training is very costly.
In conclusion, I say thank you to the community for their partnerships, to the many donors for their support, to the Board for their hard work and to all the staff for their on-going care and protection of the children.
Mrs I Dugmore
GENERAL MANAGER’S REPORT
It gives me great pleasure to share some of the new developments within PCH in the past financial period, and to acknowledge my gratitude to the Almighty for his blessings over the organization, staff and especially our children.
The 2011/2012 year has been a period of testing new methods and approaches and trying to find the balance between our standard of care and the required expectations as per the regulations of the Children’s Act.
PCH must never lose sight of our core business. Caring for children who are carry the unfair burden placed on them by circumstances beyond their control comes with a tremendous challenge that our child care workers face on a daily basis. Attending to the more hidden and deeper issues that are tucked away behind a child’s behavior takes not only time, effort and patience, but a certain level of courage needed to handle the broken pieces of a child’s heart. The process of nurturing a hurt child is much more complex and one has to be able to give off them self in order to build a relationship of trust, honesty and mutual understanding, which is needed if one is going to play the role of an alternate parent to that child. I must commend all our child care workers for taking on this role and thank them for their input, support and care of our children.
The increasing pressure placed on all child and youth care centres to transform and meet the requirements of the new Children’s Act, has left PCH in a difficult position. Some of the challenges such as awaiting clearance certificates for all volunteers and the lack of additional funds to increase the staff
Ratios have been a contentious issue in the past year. PCH does not have the finances to meet these requirements and likewise the majority of funders appear unwilling to fund salaries and operational expenses. The other reality is that we are expected to have trained and skilled staff who are providing this core function of attending to the best interests of the child.
Some of the efforts to provide training included the Manager and Social Worker attending workshops on the
Volunteers have a significant role to play within the organization and we are most appreciative of all professional volunteers who come in to provide specialized services during the course of the year. In terms of direct services, there are volunteers in all the units that assist with the planning of activities, and managing of child care programmes. In terms of students, religious groups, business and other volunteers, more than forty persons have assisted PCH with activities, programmes, upgrades to our facility and provided means to obtain needed requirements for the home’s daily functioning.
In terms of our children, awareness and education is continuous and a few significant programmes were held with them. These included career coaching, career days, study guidance and a comprehensive therapeutic programme for specific children dealing with bereavement. The process of encompassing the concept of child participation continued with the newly established children’s Forum. We struggled to meet regularly enough however the children were able to grasp the concept and begin a process of learning and growing. We were proud to have our representatives run programmes within PCH during child protection week, and are excited to have them participate at a regional level via the youth forum under NACCW.
PCH continued to provide an aftercare programme for our school leavers, which included support and guidance in terms of placements and tertiary education. One of our leavers enjoyed the benefit of residing with us during the weekends while she is part of the School Leavers Opportunity Training (SLOT), where she resides during the week. We are proud to provide such an extended service to the children who no longer fall under the protection of the Children’s Act.
PCH was fortunate in the past year to receive project funding to upgrade all four of our units, from the Azalea Rotary, DG Murray Fund, the Fulton Trust and private donors. We were able to re-paint walls and ceilings, extend showers, change some baths into showers, and tile some showers. We were also able to move the cooking from the Child care staff and create a central kitchen with funding from the Community Chest and the Auditor General. We began new programmes such as the recycling and this has taken us time to get off the ground.
In terms of safety and security we installed a new intercom system, placed camera’s in all units and on the grounds and converted the weekend monitoring into 24 hour security. We also introduced the permission slip system to try and curtail unnecessary activity in and out of the home.
Our resource centre was equipped with new chairs, tables and two cupboards from a valuable private sponsor. We then received sponsors of relevant literature for the centre. The process of training library monitors began and the computers were upgraded allowing one computer access to the internet for study purposes.
It is always vital for PCH to hold on to the relationships developed with regular donors in cash and kind, and to constantly seek out new funders. On behalf of PCH I convey that very small but significant words of “thank you”, and salute you for embracing our motto of “Expect less…. Give more…..” I especially acknowledge our regular funders, the Department of Social Development, Community Chest and Ken Collins Trust for your continued financial contributions to PCH.
I take this opportunity to thank the members of the Trust for their guidance and advice, the Board of Directors for their time, support and willingness to give a little extra to PCH, all our staff members for being willing to embrace change and especially the Management team for their expertise and direction.
I end with a special Thank You to our children and may you each grow to find your own spirit under the wings of PCH.
Fiona Balgobind, General Manager
CHILD CARE REPORT
Pietermaritzburg Children’s Home (PCH) provides residential care to children found by the Children’s Court to be in need of care and protection. They are therefore placed at the home, after an agreement between the children’s home and the placement agency, through recognized legal procedures. PCH’S aim is to provide a safe environment that will allow the children the best possible opportunity for growth and development. This goal is achieved by utilizing a structured program that takes into account the children as a group and as an individual.
PCH accommodated 88 children between the ages of 6 – 18 years in the past year. The children are accommodated in four units with each unit being able to house at least twenty children. Children are placed in the units according to their age groups, i.e. junior girls (primary school), junior boys, senior girls (high schools) and senior boys. The children are cared for by child and youth care workers (CYCW) and there is always a CYCW (sometimes two) on duty in each unit.
Reunification services form part of the program and is the joint responsibility of the placement agency and the children’s home. Ideally children are not meant to spend more than two years in children’s home, as the home is meant to act as a temporary arrangement until the child’s home circumstances improve. The reality however is that the family home circumstances often take more than two years to improve, and the child remains in the care of PCH until permanent reunification is possible.
Reunification is a process whereby the child and family are given time to adjust to being a part of each other’s lives. Relationships are rebuilt by allowing the child and family to spend time together, sometimes by the family visiting the child at the children’s home, or the child going to the family home for day visits, which then progress to weekend visits, then holiday visits and eventually the child returns to the family permanently. Counseling – with the child and the relevant family members- will also form part of the process if necessary.
A total of fourteen children returned to their families. Three of these children successfully completed their Matric year. Reunification takes place not only with immediate family members – because in some cases both parents are deceased-, but also with significant others like aunts, uncles or grandparents and sometimes adult cousins or siblings.
The children attended nine different schools which are either in or around the area. School attendance is a prerequisite for admission to PCH. Refusal to attend school regularly can jeopardize the child’s placement at the home. Children who attend schools in the area walk to and from school. Children who attend school in the outlying areas are transported.
Our children are encouraged to be involved in the community. On admission, each child is assessed and their needs identified. One of the conditions for admission is that PCH’S program has to be able to meet the child’s needs. While in the care of the home, the child is managed in terms of the program. This helps the placement agency and the children’s home determine whether not being at PCH is of benefit to the child.
The program for the above mentioned period included the following:
- Developmental Program: 24 hour physical care, access to appropriate schooling and education, family reunification and reintegration within the shortest possible time, assistance with disengaging from the program, Promotion of children’s rights, and mastering age appropriate tasks
- Therapeutic Programs: Developmental assessment of children, individual counseling of children, referrals to specialized services e.g. psychologists or psychiatrists, and family meetings, dealing with the needs of the child.
- Recreation: Sports (PCH netball and soccer teams as well as local soccer teams), outings to places of interest, drama classes, exposure to theatre and plays.
Highlights for the year
- PCH hosted their first annual prize giving where children were acknowledged for the achievements and positive behavior throughout the year.
- In December 2011, two children were rewarded for their consistent good behavior. SA Airlink sponsored a flight to Johannesburg and a private sponsor provided tickets to Gold Reef City. This was their first flight on an airplane.
- One child participated in the SLOT (school leavers’ opportunity program), and another child attends F.E.T. College through SLOT sponsorship.
- The creation of a PCH choir. Thirty children joined and participated in a choir concert with other renowned choirs like the Midlands Choir.
Bronwynn Van Wyk,
For the Year ended 29 February 2012
The two main sources of income allowing the Pietermaritzburg Children’s Homes (‘the Home”) to continue to operate as a child and youth care centre providing the much needed accommodation and care to children in need, comprises the monthly government subsidy received from the Department of Social Development, as well as donations from various sources.
The monthly subsidy received, which is considered to be the “operating income” of the Home, did not suffice to cover the operating costs in the 2012 financial year. The Home incurred a net operating deficit of R833,881 for the year, slightly worse than the R684,891 deficit incurred during the previous financial year. Fortunately much needed donations were received from the National Lottery which resulted in the Home achieving an overall net surplus of R1,016,430 at year end.
The total donation income received by the Home amounted to R1,637,009, with R107,000 being received from Community Chest, R42,000 from the Ken Collins Trust, R80,000 from the Grace Alice Baumann Trust, R100,000 from the D G Murray Trust, R1,003,000 from the National Lottery, and the much appreciated balance of R305,009 from the local business community and individuals.
The operating costs of the Home are allocated as follows: Staff expenses comprise 60% of the costs, physical care and schooling of children comprise 34%, and the balance of 6% is absorbed by administrative costs.
The major significant asset of the Home is the property from which the Home operates. It is reflected at a value of just under R3.3 million. At year end the Home was in a net current asset position of R857,311, with bank and cash balances totaling R666,152.
Mrs. L Merryweather
A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO OUR
Department of Social Development, National Lottery Distribution Trust
Community Chest Pietermaritzburg, Ken Collins Trust
DG Murray Trust, Grace Alice Baumann Trust, Auditor General’s office, Rotary Azalea, Fulton Trust
PCH acknowledges all other donors in cash and kind throughout the year and we thank you for continuing to support our services.
PIETERMARITZBURG CHILDREN’S HOME
Physical Address: Postal Address:
45 Teak Road P O Box 949
Woodlands Pietermaritzburg Pietermaritzburg 3200
033 3874004 / 5 / 8 033 3874001
PCH THANKS YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT