Child Protection Agency
James House is a registered Child Protection Agency that offers services to vulnerable families and children. Our role is to: Advocate for children`s rights and protection and address harmful attitudes and customs that are practiced in the community. Strengthen and support families by providing them with information and assistance to make informed decisions that will foster and develop a sense of well-being in the community. Empower the child, their family and community to take ownership and become actively involved in making decisions and implementing process that would change their lives. Focus on community development as a child`s well- being is dependent on their families and community’s ability to support and care for them. Create a safe and positive living environment for children within their families and communities where they will find the necessary support and nurturing that will enable them to grow-up and become healthly and responsible citizens. We acknowledge that Child protection is both an individual as well as a co-operate responsibility and have therefore teamed up with organizations in the communities, government departments and non-governmental agencies to be part of a support network that focuses on the well- being of the child. Our responsibility is to: Use our knowledge and skills to break down developmental barriers and to encourage change and development within the individual as well as the community. Act in the best interest of the child and empower them by engaging them in a way that will encourage them to use their changing capacities to grow, develop and to make positive life decisions. Supporting families to develop skills and capacity required for raising healthy and resilient children. To create guidelines, and set standards and processes in our programs that focusses on the best interest of the child and that can be modeled to other service providers. The programs that we use in our service delivery are all nationally accredited under the Family Preservation Model. If you have any concern about the safety or well being of a child in the Community. Report to SAPS Crime Stop 08600 10111 James House Office No: 021 790 5616
How to talk to your child about Child Safety in the Community:
- The Parent is the best person to teach a child about personal safety
- There is no perfect age when parents should begin teaching children about personal safety.
- A Child’s Ability to comprehend and practice safety skills is affected by age, educational and developmental levels.
Listen to your children
- Know there daily activities and habits.
- Listen to what they like and what they don’t like.
- Encourage open communication. Let your children know they can talk to you about any situation.
- Reassure your children that their safety is your number one concern.
Teach your children:
- Set boundaries about places they may go, people they may see, and things they may do.
- Reinforce the importance of a “buddy system”
- It’s OK to say No – tell your children to trust their instincts.
- That when adults tell them it is a secret between them then they need to let parents know.
- Know where your children are at all times.
- Your Children should check in with you if there is a change in plans
- Children need your attention and supervision at all times.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP YOUR CHILD Tips for Parents to help their children stay safe: SAFETY AT HOME:
- Children should know their full name, phone number, and how to use the telephone. Post your contact information where your children will see it: Office numbers, cell #s etc.
- Second person to contact in case of emergency.
- Choose Babysitters with care. Obtain references from family friends and neighbours. Once you have chosen the caregiver, drop in unexpectedly to see how your children are doing. Ask your children how they experience the Caregiver / baby sitter and listen to their responses.
SAFETY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD:
- Make a list with your children of their neighborhood boundaries
- Interact regularly with your neighbors. Tell your children whose homes they are allowed to visit.
- Don’t drop your children off alone at malls, Parks, Movies.
- Teach your children that adults should not approach children for help or direction.
- Tell your children that if they are approached by an adult, they should stay alert because it could be a trick.
- Don’t leave children unattended / alone in a car.
- Children should not travel alone or take a taxi if they do not know the person.
- Children should never go anywhere with anyone without getting your permission first.
- Don’t let children sit on peoples laps.
SAFETY AT SCHOOL:
- Be careful when you put your Child’s Name on the outside of the backpack. The abductor may call him on his name.
- Walk the route to and from school with your children, pointing out landmarks and safe places to go tit her being followed or need help.
- Avoid short cuts and lanes that is isolated.
WHAT YOUR CHILD CAN DO:
- I know my name, address, telephone number and parents name and cell no.
- Tell my parents where I will be going.
- Check with my parents or trusted adult before I accept anything from anyone even from someone I know.
- I will always take a friend with me when I go places or play outside.
- I say NO if someone tries to touch me or treat me in a way that makes me feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused.
- It’s OK to say NO I know that there will always be someone who can help me.
- I know that I can TELL my parents or a trusted adult if I feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused.
- I am STRONG, SMART, and have the right to be SAFE.
WHAT YOUR TEEN CAN DO:
- DON’T GO OUT ALONE. There is safety in numbers.
- Always tell an adult where you are going. If you are faced with a risky situation your parents will know where you are.
- SAY NO IF YOU FEEL THREATENED. If someone touches in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, you have the right to say no. Whether it is pressure about sex, drugs or doing something that you know is wrong, be strong and stand your ground.
YOUNG PERSON COULD BE AT RISK:
- Not attending school or classes
- Becoming Secretive
- Not spending time with family and close friends
- Unexplained money or gifts.
- Being seen in cars of older people.
Possible signs of Child Abuse
The following are a few of the Physical and Behavioural signs of child abuse and neglect. Please Note that the list in each category may pertain to more than one type of abuse or neglect.
Physical signs of Child abuse
- Unexplained burns, cuts or bruises
- The child is injured more than once
- Injuries to ears, mouth or throat (Bite marks)
- Anti-Social Behaviour
- Fear of adults
Sexual signs of Child abuse
- Inappropriate interest or knowledge of sexual acts.
- Nightmares and bed wetting.
- Drastic changes in appetite
- Very Obedient or excessive aggression.
- Fear of a particular person or family member.
Emotional signs of Child abuse
- Continuous Sadness
- Lack of Concentration
- Eating disorders
- Older children Bed wetting / soiling their pants
Signs of Neglect
- Dirty or unbathed
- Extreme Hunger
- Regular lack of supervision
- Unsuitable clothing for weather
- Unattended educational, medical needs.
- Poor hygiene