SUCCESS STORIES


Michaela's Story: Severe Neglect

Michaela was referred to Uviwe by the clinic, who was worried about her mother's addiction problem, but they could not get her mom to go to our office. The clinic contacted the crisis line and Michaela was placed in a "place of safety", while her mother attended a parenting programme.

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Michaela was referred to Uviwe by the clinic, who was worried about her mother's addiction problem, but they could not get her mom to go to our office. The clinic contacted the crisis line and Michaela was placed in a "place of safety", while her mother attended a parenting programme. Michaela was severely neglected, however after he mom dealt with her alcohol problem, and learned new parenting skills, Michaela was returned to her mom after 6 months.


Sipho's Story: Severe Neglect

Sipho's aunt called the crisis line because of bruises she saw on his buttocks. He was beaten by an uncle in the house. Uviwe staff investigated, spoke to the mom and supported and educated the family. Sipho remained in the care of his mom and is doing much better now.

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Sipho's aunt called the crisis line because of bruises she saw on his buttocks. He was beaten by an uncle in the house. Uviwe staff investigated, spoke to the mom and supported and educated the family. Sipho remained in the care of his mom and is doing much better now. His mother has been taught that it is her responsibility to protect him and not to allow the uncle to discipline him in any physical manner.


Taxi fare that made a difference in a boy's education

The case became known to Uviwe child and Youth Service’s on 08/08/2007, when the child was 8years old. He was neglected by his biological mother who was

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The situation

The case became known to Uviwe child and Youth Service’s on 08/08/2007, when the child was 8years old. He was neglected by her biological mother who was abusing alcohol and the whereabouts and identity of his father is unknown. The child was malnourished and under-developed, as he was not properly fed. It was also reported that the mother gave alcohol to the child. The child was deprived his fundamental right to education because he was not sent to school. The biological mother died the same year that the case was reported and the child was then placed in foster care with the maternal grandmother. He returned to school but displayed altruistic behaviour, challenging behaviour and abused substances with negative peers. He was the eldest in his class and bullied his peers.

The hero/case under study

The child is a 17 year old boy who is currently in grade 11. He lived in an informal settlement was involve with a group of old boys who appeared like street Children. The maternal grandmother was unemployed therefore he was not having a stable income. The child’s life was in danger as he was exposed to many risks that could harm his physical and psychological well-being. With the support and guidance of the social worker, the child returned to school. The social worker managed to find placement for the child outside Port Elizabeth, at Youth Care Centre where he could not be exposed to the negative influences and where his basic and psychological needs could be met. The child gave his cooperation to the social worker and went to the Youth care centre where he is currently staying and completing his education. He made great effort to change his behaviour, to befriend positive peers and to be committed to his studies. He is living an exemplary life and is very resilient.

The change of the uniqueness in the story you wish to highlight

The child usually come back from the Youth Care Centre during holidays to be with his family and return back after the holidays. Uviwe Child and Youth Services is one of the few Child Protection organisations who assist families with small or no income with taxi fare to make themselves available for services. The child had to return to the Youth Centre but his family had no money for transport. The child was very eager to return to the centre but was in great need for money for transport. The organisation assisted the child with finances to return to the centre which is his home and where he can complete his high schooling education.

Conclusion

A difference was made in the child’s life with the taxi fare Uviwe Child and Youth Services provided for the transport of the child. He able to return to the Youth Care Centre where he has an opportunity to continue his improved quality of life and to work towards a good future.


Severe medical neglect and malnutrition

The hospital referred a case of suspected severe medical neglect and malnutrition of a child. No one was visiting the child in hospital. They required a social worker to investigate the circumstances of the biological parents and recommend suitable placement after discharge.

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The hospital referred a case of suspected severe medical neglect and malnutrition of a child. No one was visiting the child in hospital. They required a social worker to investigate the circumstances of the biological parents and recommend suitable placement after discharge.
Two year old boy living with HIV and diagnosed with TB meningitis had been hospitalized for three months. During the time of admission, he was very sick and malnourished. The medical team confirmed a pattern of missed medical appointments defaultment of HIV and TB treatment. This resulted to vision and hearing loss. His physical development was also very delayed.
Upon investigating the biological parents’ circumstances, the social worker found out they had a new born baby. Their living circumstances were not conducive for raising the concerned child and the new born baby. Both parents had a history of alcohol and drug abuse. They lived in a chaotic household with very poor conditions. They shared a two roomed house which was barely furnished, untidy and dirty with eleven other family members and friends. Half of the residents in the house had been diagnosed with TB.
Issues raised above prompted immediate social work intervention. The social worker had serious concerns about the parents’ capacity to care for their children. The new born was immediately removed from parental care into temporary safe care of a private institution.

Introduce Your Hero or the Case under Study

Whilst investigating for alternative care for the concerned children, the social worker interviewed the maternal aunt. She showed concern for the children concerned and mentioned she was worried about the child in hospital. She said on numerous times she had asked the parents to give her the child, but they refused. She agreed to be screened as a prospective temporary safe care parent for the child. Her home circumstances were investigated and were found suitable for caring for the child. In addition her family was very much prepared to assist her with caring for the child.

When the child was discharged from hospital, he was therefore placed in the temporary safe care of the maternal aunt with a court order.
During the three months the child was in temporary safe care of the aunt, his health tremendously improved. He was gaining weight and could stand and was walking around furniture on his own. His eye sight and hearing were partially improving. He could recognize familiar voices and reached out to bright colours.
The organization assisted the aunt with nappies, milk formula and other baby food. The social worker registered the biological mother and both children with the Department of Home Affairs.
Both the biological parents were very uncooperative during the time of the investigations. Their living conditions, drug misuse and alcohol consumption did not change. The Children’s Court Hearing was finalized and the social worker recommended that both the concerned children be placed in the foster care of the maternal aunt.

The Conclusion

The empathy, love, kindness and genuine interest of the maternal aunt towards the concerned child who was sick enabled the child to adjust in the family and for his health to improve. She took him like her own child and cared for him with affection. She ensured he goes for all his medical visits and administered his medications as prescribed.


School clothing that made them fit in with other children

The case came to Uviwe Child and Youth services on 31/07/2015. The biological mother was admitted at Dora Nginza psychiatric ward. She was worried about the well-being of her children since she was admitted and also the schooling of the children since they relocated to Kwazakhele from Motherwell.

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The case came to Uviwe Child and Youth services on 31/07/2015. The biological mother was admitted at Dora Nginza psychiatric ward. She was worried about the well-being of her children since she was admitted and also the schooling of the children since they relocated to Kwazakhele from Motherwell.

The children are both girls. The 12 year old girl is a grade 5 learner, the 13 year old is a grade 7 learner and they both attend Tshume Primary School. They reside with their paternal grandmother, biological father and their elder cousin in Kwazakhele. These children came from a loving home and a safe environment and a loving mother until the mother was admitted. Their life’s changed and they had to adapted to new circumstances and also have new school clothing. This was not possible because their paternal grandparent could not afford. She went to the church to ask for some clothes so they can go to school. The children got clothing which did not match with their uniform at school but had to wear it because there was no other choice.

The children’s grant was managed by different people but when they came to the new school they struggled to fit in because they did not look like other children and all they had was each other not fitting in in school and they were also being classified as children needing hand me downs from previous learners. They adapted to the situation but knew nothing will change. Until Uviwe funding changed their lives the social worker accompanied them to PEP stores and Thanda Bantu stores to get them school clothes that fitted them. Their faces were glowing and they were smiling thanking the worker for their new clothes. They said to her “Now we will look like other children in class and we’ll make more friends”.

The Social worker was happy to have helped these two girls build their self-confidence by owning school uniforms. They will now enter competitions at school for best dressed learners. This has made the children smile.


Justice served for a young boy

The case came to Uviwe Child and Youth Services on 13 October 2014. The child was referred to the organisation by Thuthuzela Care Centre. According to the referral, the child was allegedly raped in the anus by two suspects who tied him with shoe laces when he was on his way to school. Apparently the suspects grabbed him and held him hostage until they finished raping him then released him to go home.

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The case came to Uviwe Child and Youth Services on 13 October 2014. The child was referred to the organisation by Thuthuzela Care Centre. According to the referral, the child was allegedly raped in the anus by two suspects who tied him with shoe laces when he was on his way to school. Apparently the suspects grabbed him and held him hostage until they finished raping him then released him to go home.

The child is a 10 year old boy who is a grade 5 learner in Govan Mbeki. Throughout the case he has been a brave young man. With the support of the social worker and the child’s family, he was able to go school and attend court court until the case was finalised, even though he was traumatized by the event. This child gave hope to other victims that justice prevails.

Uviwe Child and Youth Services is the only child protection organisation in Port Elizabeth that has social workers who does forensic assessments. The case was therefore referred and assigned to the social worker to assess the child’s ability to testify and to compile a report based on her findings.

During assessment it was evident that the child had the ability to testify but was traumatised by the incident to the extent he soiled himself. The worker then recommended the child to testify through electronic media and via an intermediary. The worker was additionally summoned to court to explain why it was important that the child be allowed both electronic media and an intermediary. The worker, who played the role of change agent and protector explained to the court about the trauma that the child experienced and convinced the court that it would be in the best interest of the child to testify with the both and intermediary and by means of electronic media.

Both suspects received lengthy sentences as a result of the workers recommendation. This helped the victim not to be subjected to undue stress and secondary trauma by the court system and or defence attorney. The child was protected with the assistance of the organisation and its social worker. This gave hope to the child, that the justice system works and up to social workers because he will live freely without fearing the perpetrators in his neighbourhood.


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