Individual Therapeutic Programme
When an intake for a child victim of sexual abuse is received, the child is immediately registered onto the data base and if no other clients await counselling, the child is allocated to a social worker or auxiliary worker for counselling.
Parent Support Group
Safeline found that many children who are referred to the organisation responds well inside of the therapy room and accepts the empowerment of skills to cope with certain feelings and emotions. The challenge is that their home environment is not always conducive to the child practising what he has been empowered to do.
This stems mainly from caregivers who face the everyday challenges of their child showing aggressive, disruptive, and unbalanced emotions and sometimes healthy communication are not practised.
The purpose of the parent support group is to empower parents to understand the behaviour of children who have been raped, sexually abused etc. The programme allows parents to share their experiences and challenges with other parents and it thus creates awareness that their feelings are unique but similar to many other parents. The mission is that parents will leave having the ability to communicate with their children in a healthy manner allowing Safelines Therapeutic programme to be an effective one for the child.
Allows for individuals to speak about their trauma, finding coping mechanisms and provide mutual support to each other. Most children who have been abused presents aggressive or disruptive behaviour, low self esteem and self worth, fears which result in nightmares, regressive behaviour such as bedwetting, thumb sucking, decline in school work, truancy, inappropriate sexual behaviour etc. The following are the organisations group programmes to enable the social worker to address some of the above symptoms noted.
Personal Development Programme
Age: (9-12) (13-15) (16-18)
Anger management, poor hygiene, communication, self-esteem, and self-awareness
Life Skill Programme
Age: (13-15) (16-18) 10 week Program to confront challenges with problem solving and peer pressure
Abuse Reactive Boys and Girls
Age: boys (6-8) girls (6-8) boys (9-11) girls (9-11)
The programme focuses on healthy and unhealthy relationships, ensuring that the child understands boundaries, reflecting on broken value systems and broken trust issues within his/her environment. The social Worker will assess whether the child be is not or may not be a victim of sexual abuse.
Awareness and Prevention Work Programmes in the Community
Biblio School Holiday Programme
The SAFELINE TEAM, i.e. community development workers and volunteers engage in the BIBLIO HOLIDAY PROGRAMME within the different geographical areas of the four districts SAFELINE operates in. The four districts are Athlone, Lavender Hill, Delft and Mitchell’s Plain. The vision of the programme is to empower children to develop coping mechanisms and skills to keep safe during school holidays as many children are left in the care of other children or adults other than the care giver.
Thus many children face challenges which require safe thinking. The vision is also to allow for children to participate in programmes preventing idle time and opportunities to develop safe thinking skills. The objective is to go out to communities and relate to children outside of a therapeutic environment. The team therefore creates awareness through techniques of play therapy to allow children the freedom of self-expression.
The techniques used are the following:
- Biblio Play
i.e. the team engages in a fun filled way of reading familiar stories such as Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks etc. These stories express positive and negative choices and consequences.
- Dramatic Play, i.e. the team uses puppets to engage with the children as the children begin to ask questions and participate in ice breakers.The team role plays the characters in the stories being read.
- Creative Play, i.e. the team engages the children in colouring in pictures detailing safe keeping and the singing along of the ‘107 emergency number’.
- Safeline receives request from ECD’s, shelters, and children homes, libraries for library week, statutory organisations, SAPS, Ward Councillors and schools.
Foundation Phase Programme
This programme is directed towards teachers, caregivers and learners with the Grade 1-grade 3 category. The programme is divided into three phases. Dividing the programme into three phases ensures that before awareness is created amongst learners a safety net is developed. Thus learners become part of phase three. Should any learner disclose, his or her environment should be prepared for the effective assistance with the disclosure?
Phase one thus focuses on empowering teachers in understanding child abuse and the WCED protocol. The programme concentrates on teacher’s fears of dealing with disclosures and assisting with safety precautions at school amongst learners.
Phase two focuses on empowering caregivers in understanding effective communication skills amongst their children. This part of the programme thus focuses on re looking at the following:
- Effective listening
- Applying Natural and Logical Consequences
- Looking at the difference between Praise and Encouragement
- The Major Difference between Punishment and Logical Consequences
Selecting the appropriate approach.
Most caregiver’s initial response is to punish children for what they think is a lie, namely the learner accuses the father, grandfather, uncle etc for sexual abuse. The aforementioned topics are important in ensuring that a victim does not suffer secondary trauma and thus decides to withdraw and continue to suffer.
Phase three thus focuses on creating awareness amongst learners with regard to child abuse. The team therefore use techniques such as Biblio Play, Dramatic Play and Creative play.
Calendar Year Programmes
The team engages in Awareness and Prevention work for specific calender events such as Child Protection Month, Womans day and 16 days of Activism.
Part of the support given to families of victims of child abuse is statutory work which involves placing children who are living in an environment that puts them at risk in alternative care. This process is undertaken in partnership with Social Development. Networking with other service providers allows reconstruction work with families. Safeline also provides food parcels and where needed, clothes to clients. Comfort packs, (these packs are sponsored and consist of children’s underwear, sweets and a teddy bear) are also given to victims who visit our office for the first time after the disclosure of an alleged abuse.
Staff and volunteers manage the 24-hour crisis line and offer callers telephonic counselling. Any person, child or adult, experiencing trauma relating to child sexual abuse can contact this line where counselling and an intake will be completed.
This number is only available between 8h30am-16h00pm Monday to Thursday and Fridays 8h00am-14h00pm. Any person, child or adult, experiencing trauma relating to child sexual abuse can contact this line where counselling and an intake will be completed.
Tel:+27(0)21 705 2147
Fax: +27(0)21 705 1097
Any organisation wanting to refer a client for counselling relating to child sexual abuse and has followed the necessary protocol regarding reporting matters or instructions as per the Child Care Act may complete an intake form and fax it to the intake officer.