Childline Botswana Trust
Fairness in resolving cases.
Botho (humility) in customer service.
Best interest of the child in all our undertakings.
Commitment of staff and Board to Childline and its activities,
Botlhaga (initiative) in undertaking duties.
Psycho Social Support
Over the past 13 years Childline has dealt with more than 6000 cases of child abuse. Other organizations such as social and community development in councils also handle cases of child abuse. Rape cases, defilement, incest and assault cases are also escalating as evidenced in the police reports.
Furthermore, the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Botswana has largely contributed to the new and daunting challenge facing an organisation such as Childline. HIV/AIDS has reached endemic proportions in the country and is viewed as a national crises and priority by the Government. A recent survey by the National Aids Coordination Agency in Botswana revealed that nationally the HIV infection in pregnant women is approximately 34 percent (whilst it is as high as 51% in some of the rural areas.) The large number of AIDS related deaths amongst the heads of households, has resulted in a steep increase in the number of orphans with a reportedly Experience has shown that these orphans should be classified as a very high-risk category for abuse and abandonment.
An urgent need thus exists for an organisation such as Childline to continue its projects, which includes psycho-social support for abused children. The project offers support to survivors of child abuse and their families through various intervention strategies.
The Psycho-Social Support Project, which is the lifeblood of Childline, has been running since Childline started operating. The activities under this project include: Casework, face to face counselling, telephone counselling, preparing children for court, referring cases to other organizations, investigating and intervening in cases of suspected child abuse and compiling clients statistics.
The Project has the following objectives:
To offer services to all children in danger and distress.
To help parents who are experiencing difficulties with their children, including those who fear that they might abuse their children or have already abused them.
To help parents or adults who may have been abused as children.
To give concerned members of the public an opportunity to report cases of suspected child abuse.
To be a referral source for professionals who may need guidance in dealing with child abuse cases.
In order to meet the objectives, there are activities that need to be carried out. Core activities under this project includes:
Telephone counselling: Offered 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
Face to face counselling: Offered on weekdays from 8am to 5 pm.
Intervention on child abuse cases.
Preparation of children for court.
Opportunity for members of the public to report suspected cases of abuse.
Investigation of reported cases of suspected child abuse.
Child support to report a case at the Police Community Service Centre.
Referral of children to other organizations that offer services to children.
Education And Prevention
In order to be fully responsive to children's issues, Childline has acknowledged that it must also take a preventive approach to the problem of child abuse by increasing public awareness of child abuse.
It is due to the public outcry about child abuse rate in Botswana, especially around child sexual abuse and the number of cases reported, that professionals involved in youth and child care identified the need for a large scale public education and implementation of prevention programs. Thus, Childline Botswana ran an intense and comprehensive National Child Abuse Education Program (NCAEP) in 1998. A rural education project was also run in 2003. Due to insufficient funds, Childline did not run as many workshops as necessary. The organization did not also produce as much IEC materials and advertising as it would have wanted. This programme is aimed therefore at production of IEC materials and networking for information dissemination. It encourages multi-sectoral co-operation and collaboration towards the prevention of child abuse.
The Philosophy of Combatting Child Abuse."Knowledge is power". Providing education materials and skills on child abuse empowers communities and families to deal with child abuse. Creating awareness can be likened to "putting on the lights" and dispelling the darkness surrounding the sensitive issues of child abuse which is shrouded by denial, misinformation and social taboos and seen as a "foreign" problem. The problem of child abuse can only be dealt with in a comprehensive manner if it is brought to the surface where it can be tackled. Parents and caregivers who are aware of abuse and the negative effects of abusive behaviour towards children and are equipped with knowledge and skills to relate to children and overcome problems in a positive way are less likely to engage in such negative behaviour.
Prevention and Education Project gears its energies towards child abuse prevention information education. The project aims to raise parent's awareness of child abuse children's rights, and at the same time, empower parents to teach strategies for the prevention of child abuse to others.
To equip parents and care givers with positive parenting and care giving skills.
To train key people as trainers of trainers from different districts.
To equip children with self protection and care skills.
To produce and disseminate child abuse education and prevention information.
Outreach to the society at large to facilitate inter-reliance.
Core activities under this project includes:
Public education and information dissemination on child abuse, child labour, children's rights and positive parenting.
Production of public education materials.
Empowerment of children to protect and take care of themselves where possible.
Place of Safety
A temporary home for children who have been declared in need of protection by the court. We accommodate children 5 years and below but due to circumstances above control children can grow up to exceed the age we can accommodate. Children at our place of safety are accommodated for a variety of reasons including baby dumping, infanticide, neglect and need for attentive supervision for children on ART.
Childline sometimes visit rural areas or communities outside our office to raise awareness on the community about our services and also teach children and parents their rights and responsibilities. We also get invitations from organizations sharing the same goals as us to come and make some presentations on assigned topics.
Face to Face Counseling
Walk in clients are received and offered psychosocial support and counseling of any case involving children 18 years and below and their families. Families are being reconciled, peace maintained for a better environment of children to grow. The cases include but not limited to child custody, child abuse, parenting, teenage hood and school going children, substance abuse, children involved in divorce and relationship break ups..etc
We have a telephone line operating from 8am to 5pm for clients outside Gaborone more especially to call and seek advice and counseling or any information around the welfare and protection of children. Cases here are usually referred to area social workers where the person is calling from for further investigations and assessments.
We have worked with radio stations like Duma FM sharing with the public children’s issues.
We have visited a couple of orphan and vulnerable children pre-schools teaching through puppets for their convenience and that they attract them hence can easily get their attention.
Foster care is a way of providing a family life for children who cannot live with their own parents. All over the world, foster families open their hearts to children in need and share their family life with them. Foster care is often used to provide temporary care whle parents get help sorting out problems. Often children will return home once the problems that caused them to come into foster care has been resolved and it is clear that their parents are able to look after them safely. Others may stay in long term foster care, some may be adopted and others will move on to live independently.
Any person who is fit econonomically and medically may foster a child. Both Botswana and foreign nationals living in Botswana qualify for foster care. Married couples or a single person can foster a child. To become a foster parent; one has to apply to the Social and Community Development (S&CD) department, then a social worker has to assess the parent, trainning will be then done. The potential foster parent will be listed in the Foster care Bank where the children’s court will make a decision whether to give the parent a child once the a match has been made.
After placement the foster parent and the child will be able to get ongoing support from social workers and Childline Botswana.
Download our Foster Care Pamphlet below....
For detailed information on Child Abuse,click the read more button.
For detailed information on Discipline,click the read more button.