Sunlight Safe House – Provides a night time place of safety for over 200 children per year whose home circumstances are not conducive to their safety and wellbeing, as well as long-term foster care for 116 children in volunteer community homes.
The Sunlight Safe House (SSH) started in 1997 as an after-hours service for abused and abandoned children. With traditional organisations closed at night and during weekends, many traumatised children were in the unfortunate position of having to stay at police stations until the welfare agencies opened their doors during office hours. This constituted secondary traumatisation for the child.
Childline Gauteng set up the SSH at the request of the Child Protection Unit (CPU) in conjunction with the local Child Welfare Societies and Department of Social Development, whose function it is to provide statutory child protection services.
Thus, the SSH provides emergency after hour care at our Sunlight Reception Centre. This accessible centre, receives children after-hours. They are welcomed by our child and youth care workers and the team is able to assess each child’s needs immediately.
The South African Police Service (SAPS) bring the child/ren into overnight care and they are referred to statutory services for further investigation and the finding of suitable placement. To date we have provided care for over 7 000 children.
The project was extended in 2002 to provide foster care for HIV+ children and young people for whom placement was difficult to find.
We also offer training and capacity building to partner organisations in child and foster care.