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Shelter, Aftercare and Reunification

Shelter Programme

The Twilight Children Shelter programme is a voluntary residential facility for children who no longer wish to reside on the streets or live in unsuitable potentially traumatic environment.

• During their stay in the shelter, Twilight Children assumes the role of 'parents' to these children and provides for their physical and emotional needs.

• We help extensively with the reunification of Children with their parents or suitable family members. We house these children at Twilight Children and allow them to go to school.

• Where contact has been established with suitable family member and the boys are willing to go and visit them we facilitate and encourage such visits especially during the holidays.

• Naturally, for this purpose they are given transport money and where possible food parcels and an allowance for the family in general.

Children are looked after by child care and social workers 24 hour a day. Their role is to provide sustainable environment to ensure the successful rehabilitation, back into mainstream society, of these marginalised youngsters.

• As a policy, all our boys attend formal school in Johannesburg. However-in this regard, we face a number of challenges and some of our boys are unable to attend school, usually because of documentation.

• Such boys are enrolled in the skills programmes run internally such as the pottery, bakery or beads projects. In addition, the boys are allowed to pursue social, religious and cultural activities necessary for their holistic personal growth.

After Care

• In order to successfully reunite children with their families, new arrivals' families are traced wherever possible, by the social worker and the team and efforts are made to re-establish relationships.
• In addition, group work is undertaken with the boys to assess the reasons for leaving their homes and also to provide alternative ways of dealing with their problems.
• Once a child is placed back home, temporary financial assistance is given to him by Twilight Children. This may be-for example- in the form of fares to school, school uniform and books.
• Since we introduced the After Care Programme, we seldom see these children coming back to the street after reunification as was previously prevalent. This proves that these families need to be encouraged and supported to gradually assume responsibility and independence.

Reunification Programme

•The primary objective of this programme is to reunite boys with their families. It provides a support mechanics for the boys’ development and their families as a whole. A lot of effort is applied by our social and child care workers to facilitate this critical function. Activities include family tracing, family and boys’ counselling as well as referrals to other organisations.

Senior Bridging Programme

• Children from the Shelter Programme are either returned to their families or relatives, or graduate to the Senior Bridging programme.
• This programme aims to address the unique needs of the older youth in the shelter whose social, behaviour and job skills need to be intensively and individually groomed so they can re-enter the community as contributory and independent people.
• Assistance with tertiary education and post-school training is a key component of this programme
• In recent years this the number of such children has grown significantly with some success stories we are proud of.

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