Fikelela Childrens Centre
We do not believe that children should be institutionalized on the long term basis. Each child needs a mother and to know that they belong to a particular family. The Fikelela Children’s Centre offers short term emergency foster care. Children come to us from social workers. The social worker will first of all have ascertained that there is no extended family member willing and able to take in the child. Our role is then to provide emergency foster care for the children, until they are nursed back to health and suitable long term foster parents are identified in the community.
The child is nursed back to health by our nurse and trained child care workers in the Fikelela Childrens Centre. Often the child has undergone multiple loss and trauma. Because of the period of neglect due to illness of the mother, often the child is underweight, with bad skin problems. Tragically many of the children have been sexually abused. Thus care for the children involves the following:
- Medical care. The children are placed on TB medication if necessary. In the case of the HIV + children (60% of intake on average) , once the CD4 count drops , they are placed on anti-retrovirals obtained from government clinics.
- Emotional care. We have trained music therapists who help with the children’s emotional care. In the case of more extreme emotional trauma, they are referred to a child psychologist.
- Educational. Often the children have not attended school or are far behind in their educational needs. Thus we have a small in house pre-school to help the children adjust to formal education. Then they go to local preschool and primary schools.
Once the child is in a medically and emotionally healthy, We begin the process of placement with a foster carer.
- Potential foster carers are recruited from the local community, through our contact with churches and women’s groups.
Once screened, they are trained in a week long programme of the National Association of Child Care Workers.
They begin to visit the child at the centre, and then the child goes for weekend visits. Once bonding has taken place, the child is placed through the children’s magistrate with the new foster parents
- Regular monitoring visits take place from the auxiliary social worker who is a staff member at Fikelela.Out nurse meets regularly with the foster parents of HIV + children to assess their health and adherence to the ARVs.
Many of our children are HIV+ so we need to provide nutritious healthy food to improve their immunse system. $5 allows us to provide a health balanced diet for our children.
What To Bring
If you would like to bring a gift, children's stationary, nappies, fruit and yoghurt are always appreciated. Please do not bring sweets.
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