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Cape Town Child Welfare: if i could… Host Organisation

26 March 2014

Cape Town Child Welfare logo

Cape Town Child Welfare (CTCW) is an NGO based in Cape Town, which seeks to alleviate one of the greatest challenges facing South Africa today: the survival, protection and development of children and families affected by HIV/AIDS, poverty, violence and other issues.

Founded in 1908, Cape Town Child Welfare, widely known and respected, is the second-largest child welfare organisation in South Africa. The organisation, which works primarily with children and families from disadvantaged socioeconomic areas, seeks to alleviate the growing plight of numbers of children infected, orphaned and made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS, child abuse, developmental and/or behavioral disorders and disabilities.  The organisation has operational offices based in more than five suburbs of Cape Town, including Athlone, Hanover Park, Khayelitsha and Lotus River.

CTCW works with children and their biological and/or foster families, as well as with the broader community, to develop the capacity to support families, caregivers and their children. The organisation has several different ongoing programmes, including support groups and workshops for children, adults and the elderly. CTCW also runs a broad, community-based child protection programme that identifies children abused or at risk and takes appropriate action, such as placing them in shelters and homes of safety until another course of action can be taken. In addition, CTCW provides extensive counseling and therapeutic services to high-risk children and families, both in individual and group settings.

Children playing at Cape Town Child Welfare (CTCW), © Kathy Evans  Field Band Foundation performance, @ Kathy Evans

Cape Town Child Welfare operates using four integrated programmatic areas:

  • Statutory Services
  • Leadership Programmes for Children
  • Prevention Services
  • Reintegration

intern Kathy Evans

CTCW offers internships to young graduates from all over the world, as an opportunity to work on dedicated projects and gain valuable hands on experience in the child welfare sector.

Kathy Evans, an if i could… intern originally from Connecticut, USA, was an intern at Cape Town Child Welfare for 2.5 months. She arrived in May 2013 to complete an internship as part of her Psychology and Human Development Undergraduate Degree at Connecticut College.

Kathy describes her internship, “The most important thing I learned while interning at CTCW was that you can’t change people; instead, you can provide them with the resources that might help them, but it is their choice whether they are going to accept these services and benefit from them.”

She adds, “I definitely used my critical thinking skills during my internship. I constantly asked questions about the child welfare system and the policies that govern society.”

“Cape Town has provided me with many opportunities for self-reflection; I constantly contemplated my role in this society and how I will continue to make a difference in the world that I live in.”

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