programmes... children's program

children's programme

Identification of the problem
The women and their children who live at St. Anne’s Homes have mostly come from a life lived on the streets and/or come from an extremely deprived, poor and neglected background often associated with all forms of domestic violence. As a result of their lifestyles, many of them have endured trauma, both physical and emotional and are now need to rehabilitate themselves back into general society. The mothers have often not acquired all the necessary social and educational skills needed to raise their children and there is therefore the need to support these women in this area.

Their children are victims of various kinds of abuse and traumas. It ranges from emotional, physical abuse to sexual and psychological abuse. When they come to the shelter and our crèche the children struggle with the development of their own social and emotional skills. Learning and behavioral problems such as difficulties to concentrate and participate in group work, stubbornness, aggression as well as inappropriate sexual behavior are the most commonly addressed problems.

The crèche at St. Anne’s Homes is in a position to assist in this area by supporting the mothers and their children while they reside at St. Anne’s Homes. This opportunity has given rise to the new crèche programme.
Mission Statement
Our mission is to educate and empower children affected by a long history of abuse, poverty and homelessness through a comprehensive education and therapeutic programme.

These services are offered to children from the residents in the St. Anne’s Homes, ex-residents as well as from low-income families in the surrounding community. The crèche facility provides the children with a safe space that will enhance their physical, educational and emotional development.

The aim of the programme is to lay a foundation for a brighter future for each child.

To fulfill our mission we had to revise our existing programme to now more effectively address the needs of the children. The development and introduction of this process started in 2001. Our crèche is no longer only a place for care giving, but a place of learning and growing with a stronger component of record keeping to measure accountability and impact.

  • Full day care service for residents and for the community
  • Regular parent meetings
  • Clear policies and procedures
  • Assessment of children
  • Group work for mothers with their children
  • Supervision and support
  • Two year theme programme
  • Age appropriate activities
  • Individual Counselling and Case work
  • Art, Music and Play therapy
  • Mother and child massage therapy classes
The Education Service for the children
1. Assessment of the child’s educational needs
This is essential and is linked to the individual casework. The children will be assessed using an observation checklist to determine their skills level.

The teacher and coordinator will work together to complete the checklist. This assessment will be completed a second time approximately mid- way through the child’s stay and again before the child is due to leave. This information is used to form the basis of a progress report that the child’s mother will be able to use when leaving St. Anne’s Homes.

2. Two year crèche programme
The motivation of a two-year theme programme is to have a programme covering basic concepts in the children’s education while using themes. By having a thematic programme, which differs over two years the community children who attend St. Anne’s Homes crèche for a period longer than 4 to 6 months, will have variety in their lessons.

In this way, the teachers can use the thematic programme for any length of time and can accumulate new and varied activities over a longer time span.

3. Individual casework & group work
The coordinator who is a qualified social worker at the crèche handles this third area of the programme. Each child will be assessed individually with the focus on social development, individual needs and strengths beside the observation checklist.

The aim is to write and practice an individual casework or group work programme with each child, which addresses specific social and emotional skills trainings. Children needing in-depth therapy, a psychologist comes once w eek to provide individual sessions to the identified children. In the absence of funding, we rely on psychologists or Occupational therapists who volunteer their time.

Depending on the needs of the child, Child-Parent counselling sessions are arranged.

Service for parents
1. Regular parent meetings
The coordinator organizes regular parent meetings to keep the mothers and teachers informed about the programmes being run at our crèche and to exchange ideas and problems. This is a great new experience for most mothers who otherwise never get to say something about their children’s education at all. In this way teachers and parents share the responsibility of the child’s educational development.

2. Group work for mothers with their child
We want to offer a supervised mother- child session to develop the mother’s skills in parenting and to help the mothers to understand their children’s development, needs and reactions. Further plan is to have moms and toddlers group where groups of mothers with the younger children can get together to develop skills in educationally stimulating their children. This should involve the teacher or social worker, but should have the parent child interaction as its main goal.
Service for volunteers
1. Policy
We welcome both local and international volunteers and interns. The application form must to be completed and contactable references included. International volunteers must also write a motivation letter and attach any supporting letters and documents. International volunteers are responsible for their own accommodation and travel arrangements.

2. Supervision
All Volunteers are supervised by the coordinator and are orientated to their specific field by the coordinator or teacher.