PROTECTING CHILDREN WHERE IT MATIERS MOST: IN THEIR FAMILIES AND THEIR NEIGHBOURHOODS
AbstractGlobally, there has been a growing tendency to make civil society the primary participant and beneficiary of community-based intervention. In South Africa, since the publication ofthe White Paper for Social Welfare (1997), with its emphasis on developmental social welfare services, many social welfare agencies have been recognising the benefits of working in partnership with local communities. In the field of child protection, it has long been recognised and accepted that formal child and family welfare services will never be able to respond adequately to the increasing number and diverse range of child protection issues and challenges presenting in communities on a daily basis. The Child and Youth Research and Training Programme (CYRTP) (previously the Institute for Child and Family Development) at the University of the Westem Cape has introduced a neighbourhood-based child protection approach in a number of neighbourhoods around the country. This approach is aimed at building stronger families and communities to safeguard children. Important lessons are emerging from the implementing neighbourhoods. The aim of this article is to report on these experiences and to share some of the lessons learnt.
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