The level or type of care a child needs depends on the life circumstances of the child. Are they estranged from their family? Have they lost their family to illness or crime? Do they have a family who is simply not able to afford the care they need? Have they run away from their family due to abuse? Have they been cast out of their family due to her drug abuse? Do they want to find their family?
Each one of these situations requires a specific kind of care and a different level of involvement, which is why Kids Haven has created three over-arching separate but connected facets called Categories of Care. These categories, or pillars, are Pre-care, In-care and After-care.
PreCare offers prevention and early intervention support to families and youth in the community so that the family is strengthened to stay together and children do not run away to the streets. Precare offers a weekly soup kitchen to youth and adults on the street and actively conducts outreach work to encourage children and youth to leave street life.
InCare offers full residential care to children who no longer live with their families. Kids Haven is responsible to meet all of their needs while they live in care. This pillar of care supports family reunification and encourages families to connect with their children while they stay at Kids Haven. Social workers and childcare workers provide for the day-to-day care of the children. Older children participate in the Care Leavers programme while incare to intentionally prepare to leave the Organization when they return to their families or exit anytime from 18 – 23 years.
AfterCare continues to offer support services to children and youth who leave incare and return home or to their communities. Aftercare can continue indefinitely until the young adult is able to be fully independent and living a stable life. Kids Haven hosts an annual reunion to celebrate our past children.
Within these categories, Kids Haven has THREE Priorities:
- Protection – Children must be safe from harm. Children must have an identity and identity documents to give them legal protection.
- Care, including Health care – Children must feel loved and cared for. They must feel that they belong and that their life matters. Children’s health needs must be met so that they can grow and thrive. Mental health matters. Kids Haven offers a supportive environment to build resilience so that every child can have hope for the future.
- Education – Children must go to school and enjoy learning. They should be creative and inquiring. Children should reach the highest grade possible to prepare them for continuous learning at a tertiary or in employment.
How we fulfil our children’s basic needs
Kids Haven maintains a stable, structured supportive environment where children can be safe and develop normally. Professional social workers, childcare workers and key programme staff, such as the Youth Skills Manager, actively support every child living at Kids Haven or in Precare and Aftercare.
Kids Haven recognizes our responsibility to shift attitudes and behaviours in the community to improve child protection. Our work informs policy decisions and practice in the care of vulnerable children, foreign unaccompanied and migrant children, and Organizational processes. We willingly share our work and support research activities that can highlight the needs of vulnerable children.