Amor Child and Youth Care Centre
Amor Child and Youth Care Centre developed from the original home for unmarried mothers, namely Susanna Coetzee-home. The “Women’s Christian Temperance Union” started the accommodation and caretaking of women that were released from prison and were homeless shortly after the Anglo Boer-War.
The first financial aid for this cause came from the three Free State branches of the WCTU of Bloemfontein, Kroonstad and Harrismith.
During 1908 and 1909 there was a growing involvement and support from other females. In March 1909 a rescue house was started at 13 Reitz Street, Bloemfontein. The project was launched by Christians with faith without any subsidy from government. The first matron was Miss. Marais and the first occupants were women from the prison with their babies. The aim was to accommodate the women and then be able to convert them.
The Synodal Commission for the service of compassion of the Dutch Reformed Church took over the service on 1 May 1966. A new centre was commenced at 10 Haldon Road for the caretaking of unmarried mothers. The centre was named after the wife of minister PSZ Coetzee, Susanna Coetzee. The existing building was not suitable for its purpose and Mrs. Coetzee endeavoured to the erection of a new facility that would accommodate twenty four mothers, the staff members and the administrative offices. The new building was erected at 20 Van Heerden Street and was officially opened on 29 April 1970. During the time period 1970 – 2002 approximately 1 300 mothers were accommodated in the Susanna Coetzee-home. In 1996 the Act on abortion was enacted and the need for the home diminished.
During 2003 the management realised that the need for the home was not sustainable only as a centre for unmarried mothers. The Dutch Reformed Church of Langenhovenpark was approached to adopt the responsibility of a centre that takes care of girls in need of care including girls who has a crisis with pregnancy. The first official meeting of the committee was held on 27 February 2003. Minister Riaan Stander was chosen as the chairperson. Two ladies namely Marietha Vosloo and Erika Smith have stood by this centre through thick and thin. The church decided that this centre should be a “home” for the girls. The name changed to “Van Heerdenweg Youth Care Centre”. 12 Faure Avenue, the parsonage became available when the hospital minister retired. NG Welfare decided to enlarge the house and to move the centre to the house, in order to make it more practical and functional.
During March 2005 the management decided to change the name of the centre to House Amor. This is still a very special centre that takes care and provides therapy to girls who experience a crisis with pregnancy. The centre consists of two wings in order to give privacy to the pregnant girls, should they choose so. The old building (Susanna Coetzee-home) has been changed into a guest house called Mamre Home.
Number of children in need of care in the child and youth care centre:
Ten girls are taken care of in the child and youth care centre. They are representative from all cultural groups. Their ages differ from seven years of age to teenagers. The girls attend the following schools: Sand du Plessis Primary School, Martie du Plessis School, Sand du Plessis High School, Bohmer School and Lettie Fouché School. The children attend the Dutch Reformed Church of Langenhovenpark.
The child and youth care centre is equipped to accommodate three pregnant girls. Usually a girl, who is pregnant and has a crisis with it, is admitted to the centre from her 6 month of her pregnancy. This is to ensure that she gets the necessary care and support during this stressful time. She receives guidance in order to make a decision with regard to her baby’s future.
Services rendered by the child and youth care centre to the children of the youth care centre:
The youth care centre makes use of the services of a social worker. She has at least two therapeutic sessions with each child every quarter.
When a child is admitted to the centre a multi therapeutic team meeting is held to draw up an Individual Developmental Plan and Permanency Plan for each child. This plan helps the persons involved with the child to know who will render which services to the child concerned. It also helps to co-ordinate the services.
- The social worker and the child and youth care worker often have discussions about the child – in this way they work together as a team.
- Annually a multi therapeutic team meeting is held to evaluate the achievements and to plan ahead.
- The social worker co-ordinates the services and makes the necessary arrangements for the child to receive specialised therapy for instance psychological, occupational, psychiatric, medical, neurological and spiritual.
- The social workers also arranges for weekend and holiday leave to the child’s parents or host families.
- The management and the child and youth care worker ensures that the child’s basic needs are met by making sure she has a safe house, food, clothes and education.
- The social work service to the pregnant teenager is the same than the other residents. The social worker of the KMD, focus on the planning of the unborn baby’s future.
- The services with regard to the pregnant teenager and the unborn baby are co-ordinated by the social workers concerned.
Services rendered by the centre to the children within the community:
Children are involved with an old-age home where they visit & donate food to the elderly.
This youth care centre is a project of the Dutch Reformed Church in Langenhovenpark. A couple o female chruchmembers are very much involved with the centre.
Possible ways how the community can get involved and help the centre:
Your assistance will be greatly appreciated. You can contribute in one of the following means:
- Donations of clothes for the children and the pregnant girls.
- Literacy material like old books, magazines.
- Games like puzzles, board games – anything with which the children can amuse themselves.
- Apparatus like swings, sand-pit, trampoline etc.
- There is a great need for activities and funds to be utilised during holiday times since a growing number of children stay in the youth care centre for holidays. Cash donations are also welcome. This money will be used to enhance the budget and to buy necessary goods.
- The youth care centre has a great need for a computer.
- Sponsor a child’s school necessities and toiletries.
- Sponsor a child’s therapy at a professional therapist.
- Sponsor a child to study at a technical collage.
- Sponsor a child that needs specialised medical attention like orthodontics and spectacles.
- Any in kind donations are welcome.
- Assistance with the upgrade of the youth care centre through your knowledge, financial or physical help.
Professional persons can also get involved at the youth care centre by donating their time to the centre. They can get involved in the following manner:
- Involvement in the committees.
- Hosting of children for weekends and holidays – the persons must first be screened by a minister of a church and a social worker.
- To be a relieve child and youth care worker when the child and youth care worker attends educational courses.
- To render free medical and dental services, occupational- or emotional therapy.
Motivation of the community to get involved:
If you choose to get involved at the youth care centre you will experience the blessings of thankful and happy children faces. You will have the opportunity to experience the practical difference you have made in the quality of the children's lives. Many people say that there is more happiness in giving than receiving. In which ever way you choose to be involved in the child and youth care centre, it is certain that you will be touched by it!
Amor Youth Care Centre
Post Box 32096
Faure Avenue 12A
Telephone number: 051-5220860
Principal Social Worker: 051 406 3301 (Fax number)
Particulars of staff members:
Child and youth care worker: Mrs. Petro Venter is the child and youth care worker at the centre.
General Assistant: Lisa Bereng is the assistant at the centre. She is very reliable and has a good relationship with the children. The children are very fond of her and seek her attention.
Social Worker: Mrs. Lizelle Fourie is the social worker. Her contact number is 051-4063300. She has been with the centre since August 2006. She is very fond of children and sees it as a challenge to help the girls to grow emotionally.
Mrs. Karin Rossouw – contact number: 051-4063300. Mrs. Rossouw works with the pregnant girls who live at the centre. She is a very competent social worker with several years of experience with children in a Children’s Home.
Minister Riaan Stander – 082 6658478
Trudie Peyper– 072 282 7276
Miss Erika Smit – 0834539372