uThando leNkosi firmly believes that the best place for a child to grow up is within the context of a family, which is one of the primary reasons we have opted for the place of safety. The advantage of a place of safety is that one can create a family environment, as we only take six to eight children at a time, and so each child is more likely to receive attention and care from adults, professional carers, and therapists.
Places of safety are secure short-term living arrangements. They differ from regular children’s homes or ‘orphanages’. Children’s homes are institutions that take children in to feed, clothe and shelter them until they are legal adults (18 years old), whereas children only stay in Places of Safety until suitable arrangements have been made, such as being taken in by a foster family, or being returned to their family of origin.
We provide two types of care for the children who come to stay with us:
1) Emergency care provides immediate care for children who are removed from or abandoned by their parents. Emergency care operates for 48 hours or until the earliest available court date.
2) Safety care is from the first court appearance until the second court appearance. It is usually for a period of up to six months, during which an investigation into the child’s family of origin and the best possible options for placement are considered.
uThando leNkosi is not an ordinary place of safety. We seek to take a holistic view of the children’s needs by providing for them physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. We believe that their most important need is to be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ, which is why it is important to us that all those interacting with and caring for the children are in relationship with Jesus and are filled with the Holy Spirit.