The main objective of the Social Welfare Department is providing quality care and support to children, working closely with the children’s families. Within this objective is the idea of preserving family relationships of young people, and wherever possible restoring those which have been damaged or lost.
The biggest challenge to the reuniﬁcation programme was among other things, the poverty. Some families were surviving on grants from government, and it was difﬁcult to take the children back to those conditions. Another challenge was the absence of family, the death of family members most probably related to the HIV/Aids pandemic. In cases where children hadn’t been in contact with family members for a long period of time, adjusting to the family set up was very difﬁcult, such cases needed more time. Target group Children suitable for integration in our programmes are street children, and these are found on street night visits conducted every fortnight on Thursdays from 7-9pm. We target children who are below the age of 14. Once they are placed with us, a care plan will be made which will be used up until the child exits the organisation.
Once the children are reunified, the social workers will visit the boy, his family, and his classroom teacher each month for two years. MYC will continue to pay school fees for two years as well as any medical care required.
Since the implementation of the reunification program we have seen a great improvement as we have been able to track most of the residents families and have tried to restore the relationships. Since 2016 we have been able to reintegrate 9 residents, it was not an easy task but with the help of the families and the Manzini Social Welfare department we have been able to overcome all challenges that we have encountered.
Since 2017 we have been in the process of reintegrating 6 residence, we hope that we can complete this task by early 2018. We also hope that by the end of 2018 we would have reintegrated most of our residents, as we believe that everyone has a family and no matter the damage of the relationship we can restore it if we all work together.