Kids Haven opened in October 1992 as the only Organization East of Johannesburg to offer services to street children, especially Black street children prior to democracy in the country. Other services were only for White children or located 50km away in the city centre of Johannesburg.
Kids Haven is registered as a Non-Governmental Organization, Not for Profit, Company not for profit, Public Benefit Organization (according to the SA Revenue Services) and as a Registered Shelter and Children’s Home with the Department of Social Development.
The Objectives of Kids Haven are as follows:
All activities are aligned to the Children’s Act no 38 of 2005 and the Children’s Amendment Bill [B19F- 2006] and in accordance with the norms and standards of the Department of Social Development.
1. PRE CARE: defined as activities undertaken to prevent family breakdown and to strengthen communities to support their children and families.Objectives of the Kids Haven Pre-Care Programmes:
To implement early intervention activities so that children at risk of leaving their families or primary care givers are re-directed back to their families with support given to both parties for the future.
To facilitate early childhood development through the provision of an inner-city crèche, and development of other community ECD programmes to serve as an intervention promoting access to quality basic education in the future. This programme also serves as a poverty and safety measure in respect of children.
To train and advise community leaders and community members to identify children at risk, divert children from risky activities and support appropriate rendering of services to these children and their families thereby preventing the dissolution of families and actions which threaten the safety of children.
To offer sustainable community development programmes that build and support opportunities for the poor to improve their livelihoods especially enabling women and youth to live with dignity. Such programmes are managed co-operatively by the communities themselves with guidance from Kids Haven.
To provide Drop In programmes and outreach directly to children and youth on the streets who need support and services but who remain outside of family and/or social service protection.
To advocate against the increase in social ills that cause the breakdown of family structure and general decay of societies and improve awareness of the need to protect the most vulnerable groups in society.
2. IN CARE: the provision of a range of residential developmental intervention programmes to 180 children and youth addressing their physical, emotional, psychological, educational and spiritual needs under the care and protection of the Organization as decreed by the Children’s Act.
To provide reception, care and stabilization programmes to street children so that they can be withdrawn from street-life and begin a process of rehabilitation leading to full inclusion in society in the future.
To provide a nurturing environment that meets the basic needs of every child under the care of equipped and capable child and youth care workers.
To ensure that every child is protected under the legal framework of the country.
To ensure that all children and their families interface with social work professionals who offer care, empathy, speedy and appropriate interventions.
To deliver psychosocial services through counseling, family meetings and panel discussions, allowing for child participation, resulting in a written care plan and individual development plan for every child.
To deliver programmes that target the needs of children with severe conduct disorders who require specialized attention. This includes children in conflict with the law, at risk of conflict with the law and those involved in drug abuse.
To provide access to appropriate education programmes leading to inclusion in basic education or the development of skills that link young people to economic opportunities and independence.
To render family reunification programmes drawing families together and preparing the way for full reintegration to the community.
To advocate strongly for the protection of the rights of street children and other vulnerable groups especially those with severe conduct disorders so that there is an improved and professional response to the needs of these vulnerable groups.
To coordinate, guide and lead other residential and developmental services in the sector through collaborative efforts to develop capacity and enable professional programme delivery to vulnerable children and youth across the country.
3. AFTER CARE: completes the holistic delivery of services to children and families through ongoing support following reintegration to strengthen these families while linking them further with community structures.
To maintain regular contact with the family and be available to the family should any concerns arise regarding the reunification.
To provide resources to impoverished families that have this additional child to care for and linking these families to strong community structures and programmes for assistance.
To maintain links to the schools and/or community structures that are affected by the child’s reintegration.
To collate records and details of the consequences of reintegration so that successes and challenges may be analyzed and programme delivery adjusted to better meet the needs of children and communities interfacing with Kids Haven. Such information strengthens this Organization’s advocacy in the sector.
Kids Haven Shelter and Children’s Home provides Psychosocial services and other activities aimed at redressing the severe traumas that these vulnerable children have faced, and replacing destructive behaviors with socially acceptable norms and values so that each child can become socially enabled and be reintegrated into society.
In April 2011, Kids Haven investigated suitable methodologies for monitoring and evaluating these services provided to street children and other vulnerable children including so-called ‘challenging children” and unaccompanied foreign minors. KH partnered with a small IT firm (Future Vision) who had produced a free version of m & e software for a small street children’s project in Bloemfontein, South Africa. KH approached the firm to expand the programme to cover all activities at KH. The developers re-wrote the programme entirely so that the capabilities of the programme could cover all services rendered at Kids Haven. Since then, Kids Haven has been recording data (quantitative and qualitative data) on all beneficiaries across the 3 activities of Pre/in/after care. The implementation of the m & e system has required an internal re-alignment of programmes. KH has been able to collect significantly more information on every beneficiary which impacts on the development plans rendered by the social-workers, and has resulted in an increased number of counseling sessions and improved service delivery to the beneficiaries. It has also resulted in a more holistic picture being built up of every beneficiary which has value for future individual development plans and for research and advocacy. These benefits will be further positively affected as the Organization begins to evaluate programmes now that there is 18 months of data.
Kids Haven believes that the implementation of this software, with the delivery of services aligned to improve monitoring and evaluation – including the evaluation of behaviour change over time which has been impossible to evaluate prior to using this software – can be replicated at any project serving street children. The result will be to produce accurate, verifiable data on this migrant vulnerable population which can be used to advocate for the full delivery of services needed to meet their needs and develop human capacity, including re-directing children from the streets into education and constructive livelihoods.
What were the principal objectives of the project?
The aim of all therapeutic programmes is to address the past hurts and traumas that each child has faced. Our children have multiple levels of trauma usually due to primary trauma within the home that resulted in the child running to the streets and facing additional trauma through unsafe living conditions and violent abuse on the streets.
Through our research, we have discovered the following:
The major causes of children going to the streets are as follows (Ranked from 1st to 5th):
2. Deterioration and disintegration of family life, poor parenting skills, substance abuse by parents, lack of parental control, discipline and moral values, child abuse and neglect, child labor, rejection by parents.
3. Poverty and unemployment, and unmet basic needs.
4. Delinquency, uncontrollability, peer pressure, prostitution, promiscuity, and substance abuse.
5. Past and present trauma, psychological instability of parents and children, low mental functioning, severe learning difficulties.
“Difficult to manage” children are so called ‘last-chance’ children who have already been part of the social welfare system but whose behavior is so extreme that other organizations will not accept them, or the family is unable to manage the child at home and the child no longer attends school due to his/her severe behavior disorders. Kids Haven has built a reputation within the social welfare system of a willingness to accept such children and work with them. These children usually respond positively to our processes. Where we are unable to reach the child, we will recommend that the child is placed deeper into the system – usually he/she is a candidate for full time secure care, often in mental health facilities (of which there are too few).
Kids Haven has implemented the data base management system to capture all services provided to the beneficiaries. The principal objectives have been as follows:
To accurately record statistical data pertaining to every beneficiary receiving services at Kids Haven, including the following:
1. Gender, age, ethnicity, language, reason for admission, presenting condition/status
2. Family data
3. Education levels, services and improvements
To collect qualitative data which positively reflects change (or constraints) in the development process of every beneficiary; from individual personal change to family change and community change.
To use the data to monitor programme delivery
To use the data to evaluate programme delivery – what works and what doesn’t? Where are the gaps in service delivery?
To use the data to advocate for change within the sector and within the broader environment of the rights of the child since all data is verifiable and evidence-based
AGFUND PRIZE EVALUATORS’ COMMENTS:
MS Kajol Menon
Kids Haven’s (KH) Child and Youth care Centre in Benoni, a satellite town east of Johannesburg provides care services to displaced, traumatized, abused abandoned children since 1992. In its over 2 decades of work it has built a strong reputation in the child rights sector for effective intervention especially with ‘hard to place’ children.
Its robust pre care, in care (180 children) and post care services to re-integrate street children with family using multiple intervention techniques guided by a rights perspective makes it a beacon of hope for the so called ‘last-chance’ children who have already been through the social welfare system but whose severe behavior disorders make them unacceptable either to organizations or families. According to one of the nominees KH is able to overcome ‘bureaucratic, political, economic and social barriers to an effective implementation of South Africa’s mandate to protect, educate and nurture all children’. KH is constantly innovating to better its services for children at risk and towards this goal partnered with Future Vision software developers to develop the Kids Haven Database Management System (KHDMS) in 2011. While this in isolation may not be novel the efficiency and quality that it has brought to the service is creditable.
Summary of Evaluation Criteria: Innovation related to AGFUND mission, values and objectives:
KH’s goals of integration and inclusion of so called marginalized children to becoming positively contributing adults within their communities aligns to AGFUNDs mission Project design and management:
KH provides care services for the most marginalized street children abandoned both by families and society, which in itself may not be novel, but the rigor, efficiency and quality of its services is certainly noteworthy. Additionally KH is constantly reinventing itself to better its services be it mediation with families, improving trauma counseling, introduction of therapeutic service or improving the MIS system to reduce cost, enhance efficiency, free up time for more direct services; the data also helps in better evaluation, better monitoring and using the evidence for larger advocacy.
Relevance to the theme of the AGFUND prize:
KH not only provides direct services to at risk children also advocates for better state services for the marginalized children of South Africa and hence relevant to the theme of the prize.
Apart from its direct care services KH through the implementation of KHDMS has been able to evaluate behavior change over a period resulting in evidence based data of this mobile population. This data will prove crucial in its advocacy for full delivery of services to meet the needs of this group.
KH targets at-risk children and youth living and working on the streets especially around Johannesburg where the project is located. It also intervenes with unaccompanied foreign minors. Its intensive outreach services and drop in centres provide access to street children to avail of KHs services should they wish to.
KH programmes are based on normal development requirements of children adapted to meet the needs of the target group. It has no magic potion and the project design is derived from common sense principles of needs, rights and responsibilities of a child. Its efficient project design, management, M&E and now data management could easily be replicated in similar contexts.
Efficiency of financial management:
A quick look at its financial report for 2011-12 suggests that like the operational aspect KH manages its finance with efficiency. To meet with the challenge of loss of major donors due to the global financial crisis KH brought down its expenditure considerably as compared to the previous year and was able to maintain a healthy reserve.
Fulfillment of project objectives:
KH has been running care services for children for over 2 decades; it has been undertaking intensive pre care services in the community to prevent family break-down and strengthen communities support to children; In its in care service it provides arrange of residential development intervention programs for around 180 children/youth; after care complements this holistic delivery of service through ongoing support to children & families. It has certainly delivered on the project objectives.
KH is a sustainable programme that has been running for over 2 decades. It knows how to manage resources in times of financial crisis. It is also a project that is entrenched in the community with significant supporters both within and outside of the government.
Environmental and social impact:
According to one of its nominators a mental health professional “KH continues to be the only child and youth care centre that put the well-being of children above the requirements of an increasingly bureaucratic and hostile state welfare system’. As one of the founding members of Johannesburg alliance for street children, KH raises the benchmark for quality care services for children. One is however, unclear whether KH is able to influence policy or advocate beyond Johannesburg.
Donald C Kaminsky
Kidshaven is registered as an NGO in South Africa. Operating in Johannesburg since 1992 when it was the only Organization East of Johannesburg offering services to street children, especially the black street children prior to democracy. It is an ongoing program and has gone through multiple phases including the initial phase of a shelter located in temporary facilities from 1992-1999, securing a new building for a Shelter in the following phase along with 3 residential homes for long term residents, to between a phase of increasing capacity in the childrens home over time, to in August, 2011 implementation of an electronic data base management system for effective monitoring and evaluation. It continues today in its ongoing operations. It is significant to note and recognize that the NGO is known for receiving street children that no one else will accept.
Kidshaven offers a complete holistic care system, beginning with outreach work in the streets , to a drop in center, advancing to residential care and finally reintegration. They also are active in advocacy work.
Their electronic data base monitoring and evaluation system has a single input file for each child. It is a very important instrument for assuring efficient and effective management and services.
In the annex documentation, they present an audit report on the financial statements of the NGO as of their position as of 31 March, 2012, an annual report from April 2011 to March 2012 and a Kidshaven Data Base 2011.
Summary of Evaluation Criteria
Innovation related to AGFUND mission, values and objectives
The general holistic approach is not particularly innovative, but utilizing unique software created to have an electronic data base single file for each child, is innovative and worthy of replication.
Project design and management:
The project design in general and the electronic data base in particular contribute to efficient and effective management and fulfilling of the project objectives. There is pre care, to the introduction into the residential housing care, which include outreach, drop in programes and prevention programes in the community. The in care residential services are offered to 180 children and youth addressing physical, emotional, educational, psychological and spiritual needs. There are programs that target the needs of children with severe conduct disorders including those in conflict with the law and those with substance abuse problems. (These are the children that many times will not be received anywhere else.) Then there are the after care or reintegration services. Regular contact is kept with the family leading up to reintegration and afterwards. Links are maintained to the schools and community. Records are kept as to the consequences of reintegration.
Relevance to the theme of the AGFUND prize:
The holistic approach including education, rehabilitation and reintegration of street children is directly related to the theme.
There is significant project impact in terms of the services provided, the monitoring and evaluation system they have introduced and their advocacy activities and work with the communities. The reintegration and inclusion of so called difficult children into the community is a major impact of the project. The electronic data base makes for evidence based monitoring and evaluation resulting in reliable data for advocacy purposes and accurate and verifiable reporting to stakeholders. 180 children were cared for in the shelter and residential homes.
Relevant beneficiaries had facile access to benefits and services. The beneficiaries included: children and youth living and working on the streets, vulnerable high risk children, foreign children and youth, families of the children, and the community.
The holistic approach is transferable anywhere. Many organizations will not accept the most difficult children. The electronic data management system uses ordinary commercial software, the software could be adapted if necessary. There is a significant need for this type of management tool to be utilized widely in order to work in a systematic and verifiable way.
Efficiency of financial management:
Precisely the new electronic data system was introduced to provide for efficient and effective resource allocation and financial management. The combination of systematic data collection, plus information individualized and constant monitoring of interventions and results which then is processed electronically are able to describe impact.
Fulfillment of project objectives:
This project fulfilled its project objectives, once again assisted to achieve this by virtue of its data system. There is quick and easy uploading of information into the file of the child, thus allowing for adjustment of needs more quickly in order to fulfill project objectives.
Sustainability is a concern if donors do not continue to support the NGO, BUT, in 2012 there were 11 different donors, three of the major ones being local city government, a trust, and the National Lottery Distribution Trust providing nearly 50% of the received donations and expected to continue to support in the future.
Environmental impact is not relevant, but the social impact is excellent.
Mrs. Tein Sapartinah
1. Degree of relevance: High for its innovativeness and replicability.
2. Institution: Registered.
3. Resources: sufficient facilitation in support to center-based services.
4. Programs: Based on comprehensive approach, covering pre-care, in-care and after care services. This program is addressing to children in need for special protection as a result of war, disease, HIV/AIDS pandemics, including street children.
5. Best practices: Electronic management system to make the services more accurate, consistent and sustained. This system is replicable.