Parenting / 23 August 2019, 3:00pm / Staff reporter
The Johannesburg Parent and Child Counselling Centre (JPCCC) is a counselling, training and development agency which provides short- or long-term therapy for adolescents, families, adults and couples and play therapy for children.
JPCCC emerged as a result of the growing need for a specialized service for children with emotional difficulties. It has been a constant pillar in the community and has managed to adapt their offerings over the years to align to societal challenges with constants such as trauma, bereavement and crisis counselling.
“Sadly, in the early years, services as per government stipulation, were only provided for the white population, but there was a growing awareness of the gravity of problems for all South Africans, particularly those experiencing trauma at the hands of the Apartheid government”, said Claudine Ribeiro, director at JPCCC.
“In 1970, the clinic finally opened its doors to all who needed psychosocial services for their children, not discriminating on basis of race, social class or financial status.”
Over the decades, the JPCCC has witnessed the breakdown in the nuclear family. They see children from broken homes, divorced, single parents, reconstituted families, gay parents, donor parents, foster parents, as well as homes that have an abusive nature. More children are growing up in families that are struggling to cope with factors that are breaking them down.
“All of this affects their development, wellbeing, and their ability to socialise, as well as to learn and concentrate at school.
"The advent of the Digital Age also means that children are spending too much time focused on the screen, not playing enough physically or imaginatively, reading and learning and it is affecting their development all round”, added Ribeiro.
What truly sets the JPCCC apart from other counselling center’s is the critical role they play in schools. Counselling is undertaken in numerous schools on a weekly basis in order to identify young people’s problems early on and intervene where necessary.
“At JPCCC, we believe in having psychological services available to all people and work hard to make these accessible at community level, especially in schools”, said Ribeiro.
She concluded: “We believe that children are society’s most precious resource. They are the future of our country. The task of investing time, energy and expertise in correcting their problems, and enriching their lives is one worthy of our dedicated efforts. We believe that parents, teachers, and other adults who contribute to a child’s development must be supported in this task.
"We believe that every child in need of our services, (psychological, social, educational), should be able to call upon them, regardless of race, creed or financial status.”
For the JPCCC to maintain its services in Johannesburg they are dependent on the continued support of its funders, donors and volunteers.