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SOS Children’s Villages in South Africa

For more than 40 years, SOS Children’s Villages in South Africa has been caring for children who have lost or are at the risk of losing parental care.

SOS Children’s Villages is an independent, non-governmental organisation that advocates for the rights of South Africa’s most marginalised children. We offer loving, family-like care for children and young people who have lost or are at risk of losing parental care. SOS Children’s Villages in South Africa has 11 programmes across eight provinces.

Our Vision

Every child belongs to a family and grows with love, respect and security.

Our Mission

We build families for children in need, we help them shape their own futures and we share in the development of their communities.

How we work

At SOS Children’s Villages, we believe that children can develop to their full potential only if they have a supportive and protective family environment. We work to make this a reality. At the core of SOS Children’s Villages programmes is the individual child who has lost the security of a well-functioning family. What is best for the child guides our work. We focus on each child’s care, education and health and we encourage children to actively take part in the decision making that affects their lives.

Our model of care at SOS Children’s Villages is seen as a distinct form of alternative care, it is unique as it combines elements of residential care and foster care.

Each year our Family-like Care and Family Strengthening programmes provide life-changing support to children and families across the country.

Family- like Care

TheFamily-like Care model comprises of four principles that include a mother (each child has a caring parent), brothers and sisters (the family ties grow naturally), a house (a secure place to grow up in) and a village (the SOS family is part of the community).

Family-like care involves recreating a supportive family environment. It is not the only form of alternative care, but we believe that it provides a supportive environment for children to thrive, and that it should be a central component of our child protection system.

Family Strengthening

We work with disadvantaged families in order to prevent crises that can lead to family breakdown. We offer various forms of support to strengthen and stabilise them, so that ideally children can grow up in their own families. The objective is to build on the skills and capacity of biological parents, SOS families, social workers and other care givers within the community and to ensure that children enjoy positive and caring relationships.

When children can no longer live with their own families, we provide quality alternative care, for instance an SOS family, in which the love of a care giver is essential. We also support foster families who provide stable and consistent care to children who cannot remain in their biological family and for whom this form of family-based care is considered the best option.

And through advocacy, we aim to highlight the need for governments, decision makers and other stakeholders to improve the quality of care for all children in South Africa.

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