Activists call on parents of vulnerable Cape children to use psycho-social initiatives
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Cape Town - Child-focused social activist groups and the Department of Social Development (DSD) have reiterated the need for parents and guardians of children living in vulnerable communities and on the outskirts of the province to make use of psycho-social programmes and initiatives designed to support them.
Speaking on the significance of National Child Protection Week, which officially came to an end at the weekend, MEC Sharna Fernandez said that the department had made available counselling and psycho-social initiatives that would benefit children in need.
She said the department had availed the structured practices in efforts to support young children who have experienced trauma and children who are experiencing dysfunctional or stressful home environments.
“I would like to encourage the public to make use of these services, to help children better understand and navigate the issues they are experiencing or the trauma that has occurred in their lives.
“Many of the challenges of children are similar to those that adults manage in their daily lives. Common challenges include anxiety, stress, depression and bereavement.
“The aim of both counselling and psycho-social support is to break down issues and problems into manageable parts so that children can better understand and cope with them,” she said.
With regards to the effect of the coronavirus pandemic, Fernandez said the provincial Covid-19 Co-ordinating Council had determined that the DSD take on the role of providing psycho-social support to individuals and families affected in various ways by Covid-19.
“This means that with the support of our non-profit partners and volunteers we will initiate various awareness programmes that are integrated with counselling and psycho-social interventions, to help all those children being impacted by Covid-19,” said Fernandez.
Meanwhile, as part of this year’s Child Protection Week campaign, Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu participated in an interactive children’s forum organised by Molo Songololo in Blikkiesdorp, Delft.
The forum brings together children aged 12 to 17 from townships surrounding Delft township to discuss issues relating to the safety and protection of children in families, communities and public spaces.