Champions of Hope in Challenging Times

The international week for Child and Youth Care Workers (CYCW) has just passed, but their importance in children’s lives should be appreciated more. Much more. Imagine a world without them?

Child Care Workers made their own banner, and we love it!

Some do not understand the knowledge, passion and effort they put into children lives. How hard can it be? They just take care of children. The view on children needs to change. All children need to be nurtured in a safe environment, of course, a stable family is preferable. But, sometimes a CYCW will be the one picking up the broken pieces when a child is removed from home or need extra support in the environment they live.

GCF Child Care Workers with Child Care Manager, Glenda Emmerson (far left), and residential Social Worker, Hazel Bala (far right)

Only, at GCF we have 30 CYCWs that tirelessly work with the children at the organisation’s temporary Child and Youth Care Centre. Day in and day out, one week on, one week off. Some sleep their nights away from home. They are not only educated but dedicated. They experience children arriving and have to let go when children are ready to leave. They become traumatised children’s safe haven, their safety and security. They are the ones helping children to become children again. To make the apathetic become active. They see, listen, feel and love. They do substitute parenting when parents and caregivers cannot. If only for some time …

GCF Child Care Workers and International Volunteers doing Brainbooster programme with children in the nursery.

Many hours waiting in a clinic, changing nappies and give baths. Play, assist with homework or supervise when a parent comes to visit. Putting a plaster on a hurt knee, comfort the sad and scared. Singing and dancing. Holding a hand. Making a bed. Laughing and teaching a skill. Writing daily reports and observing behaviours. A CYCWs work is not only a job, it’s a calling!

GCF Child Care Workers with Executive Director, Monica Woodhouse, who started her career as a House Mother when she was only 17 years old.

Would you like to know more about GCF? Read more on our website www.gcf.org.za and follow us on Facebook and Instagram, @givechildfamily.

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