Every child at Kids Haven must participate in education or schooling. Almost all of the children admitted here are out of school on arrival or barely attending school because of their behaviour challenges. Kids Haven has a step by step approach to include every child in an education programme that is best suited for that child and prepares him/her for reintegration into society again. Reunification can take place at any time while the child is at Kids Haven and we will ensure that the child is transferred into a local school near to his/her family so that schooling is not disrupted.
Programmes and activities
- Early Childhood Development at the Community Preschool – Kids Haven has a community Preschool on our property to accommodate our youngest children who live here and children in our community who would not otherwise attend a preschool. This forms part of our safety net for families in our community and the Kids Haven PRECARE team is actively involved in working with families of children in the preschool, and supporting the holistic needs of the family. Kids Haven supports the registration process into basic education, specifically Grade R or Grade 1, and assists the parents with registration.
- The Kids Haven Bridging School Programme provides an in-house opportunity for out-of-school children to have time to meet the requirements of classroom based learning. This is primarily a behaviour-stablization programme and allows the children to learn at their own pace while shifting them slowly and surely towards inclusion in formal schooling. Children who come to Kids Haven have stopped attending school for many reasons – some are excluded due to extreme poverty or lack of documents; many families move around so often that children do not consistently attend school and fall behind; hurt and traumatized children struggle to focus at school or become disruptive in class and may be excluded; children may have undiagnosed learning difficulties that have made going to school very hard. The children start to miss lessons, then whole days at school, to avoid feeling bad or doing poorly. There are also children who have never enrolled into formal school even though they are well beyond the age of 7. The Bridging Programme accommodates all these learning challenges in a kind but structured environment. Lessons focus on remediating basic literacy and numeracy skills while increasing the children’s general knowledge. There are many fun activities provided to build a love of learning. Children move from the Bridging Programme into formal school after assessment and when a place at a school is secured. Children who struggle at school and who are not doing well, are able to return to the Bridging School programme to try again.
- Kids Haven enrols our children into local schools in and around Benoni. We strive to find the most suitable school for every child. This can mean finding a school where the medium of instruction is Zulu or Sotho or finding a school which offers Afrikaans. We always consider the exit plans of the child as best we can to pick the best school to meet the child’s needs so that there is a continuum of care when the child is re-unified with family. Kids Haven provides all transport to and from school, their school uniforms and school books and supports participation in after-school activities. We attend parent-teacher meetings and offer supervised homework sessions at home to support their efforts to get good grades. We encourage every child to remain in school as long as possible – preferably completing Matric. This does not suit every child, especially those who have missed lots of school, and some children transfer to the Kids Haven youth skills programme if they are struggling at school.
- The Kids Haven Youth Skills Development Programme is aimed at helping youth to become employable and ultimately find a job or way to earn an income for themselves. The youth job shadow within Kids Haven to learn skills but also work ethics, reliability and accountability. Kids Haven connects youth to local external skills training centres and learnerships. Kids Haven hosts a pop up Youth-run Coffee shop every week. The youth bake scones, prepare the venue and serve the customers while learning valuable skills along the way.
- Kids Haven supports youth to attend tertiary facilities, usually with NSFAS funding. This includes youth who no longer live at Kids Haven but who remain under the supervision of the Kids Haven aftercare pillar of care.