THE BIRTH OF PHOENIX CHILD WELFARE
In 1976, the initial group of inhabitants settled in the Phoenix area. The period during 1976 and 1980 saw the fledgling community beset with numerous socio-economic problems, underlined by undeveloped infrastructure and limited facilities. Community volunteers and activists identified the need to establish a Welfare organisation in order to serve the indigent families. The founding members, who were members of the civic organisations, became members of local committees of the Verulam Child & Family Welfare Society.
Over the years, the area and the population grew rapidly and by December 1980, the workload had increased to such an extent that Verulam Child & Family Welfare Society could not cope. The South African National Council for Child & Family Welfare, together with the Verulam Child & Family Welfare Society and volunteers from the Phoenix community, took the necessary steps to form an autonomous Child & Family Welfare Society in Phoenix.
At a public meeting held in Phoenix under the auspices of Verulam Child & Family Welfare, Phoenix Child & Family Welfare Society was inaugurated on 08 March 1981.
Since those initial days, Phoenix Child Welfare has grown to become one of the ten largest welfare organisations in the country. The society is affiliated to Child Welfare South Africa and is a member of Ubuntu Community Chest.
The Phoenix Child Welfare, in accordance with its guiding principles, is committed to providing services and resources for the protection of children and preservation of families through developmental programmes in the communities of Phoenix, Mount Moriah and
• Promoting effective identification and referral of abused children to the Society by adults;
• Identifying and rendering supportive services to high risk families/children for preventative services;
• Empowering youth on making informed decisions and encouraging a positive lifestyle and way of life;
• Providing opportunities for children to grow physically, intellectually and emotionally;
• Enhancing parenting skills so that parents are better equipped to raise well-adjusted children;
• Developing the capacity of caregivers i.e. foster and adoptive parents, to provide quality care;
• Providing a place of safety for women in crisis and preventing further abuses to battered women;
• Preventing disintegration of family life by supportive, preventative and development services;
• Securing the care and custody of orphaned and vulnerable children.
In order to ensure effective services, the Society included the following objectives in its Constitution:
– To work towards the removal of all conditions which are detrimental to the physical and moral welfare of children;
– To secure adequate implementation of legislation concerning children to encourage and assist in the promotion of legislation that may improve the social, psychological, physical and economic conditions of children;
– To give effect to any legislation framed for the protection of children and the conservation of family life;
– To investigate and take measures necessary to prevent any form of neglect and cruelty to children and to deal with cases where they have fallen into crime or where there seems to be the risk of their doing so;
– To encourage and assist all efforts aimed at the social, physical and economic improvement of children, either inside or outside an institution and their families to which they belong;
– To conserve and promote the health, psychological and economic well-being of mothers, children and the community at large by preventative measures undertaken to that end;
– To establish, control, conduct and maintain:
– Homes for orphaned and destitute and/or other children needing protection and care,
– Places of care for pre-school and other age groups of children,
– Hostels and/or after care centres for young persons released from child care institutions and/or for other approved persons.
– To give material assistance to deserving individuals and families.
– To publish periodicals, brochures, pamphlets and leaflets to publicise and promote the work of the Society and its interest generally;
– To co-operate and/or affiliate with any other institutions or organisations, any local, provincial or national co-ordinating body, and any central, provincial and local government department having similar objects or serving the general welfare cause;
– To take such other action as may contribute towards the furtherance and attainment of the Society’s objects.
• Verulam Child and Family Welfare society provided services to the residence of Phoenix prior to the agency coming into being on 08-03-1981
• The society has been affiliated with the national council for child and family welfare since 12 – 02 – 1982 (not child welfare south Africa)
• This society was accepted as a member of the Ubuntu Community Chest in 1992. This has become one of our major sources of funding.
• Ithuba’s initial funding from the community services department of Durban metro led the establishment of the guiding lantern centre.
• The society has been the proud innovators of the following concepts:
-Charity Fair, the first of which was held in Phoenix in 1984.
-Child Protection Week, first held in 1988 before it became a National event.
-Edufair , the first being in 1995. this event was endorsed by the Minister Education, Ina Cronje at Edufair 2004.
-Race against violence held in 1997
-Safmarine donated two shipping containers, which were used as offices in Inanda. The new office, named Inanda Welfare Centre, was officially opened at a launch on 29-07-1997.
• Sponsorship from Amalgmated Beverage Industries led to the establishment of the Thuthuka Empowerment centre in Inanada in 1998.
• Land for the welfare centre in Whetstone was acquired in 1998. The foundation for the building was laid in 2000. phase one construction was completed in 2001-2002.
• In 2007, the Phoenix Children’s Foundation was launched.
• Inanda Newtown child welfare was made independent in February 2007.
• In 2007 and 2008 services commenced in Mount Mariah and Mount Royal.