As part of the #ChildProtectionWeek2023 initiative, One Child One Family- Hope and Homes for Children South Africa (OCOF HHCSA) joined forces with the Gauteng Department of Social Development (GDSD) and Deloitte to host a workshop for 154 young people living in Child and Youth Care Centres (CYCC’s) as part of the Independence Living Programme (ILP). This event aimed to support young adults transitioning out of CYCC’s into alternative care and communities. The workshop addressed the challenges faced by youth, who often struggle with independent living and workforce integration due to their reliance on caregivers. By providing independent living skills and career guidance, this collaborative partnership equipped young adults with the tools they need to thrive in the real world.
Research has shown that young individuals who grow up in CYCC’s often encounter difficulties in developing the necessary skills for independent living. Their heavy reliance on caregivers can impact their ability to make decisions, hindering their transition into adulthood. Consequently, they face challenges in entering the workforce and adapting to life outside the confines of the institution. Recognising these obstacles, OCOF HHCSA, GDSD, and Deloitte partnered to address these critical issues.
During the workshop, young individuals received career guidance, explored various career paths, and gained insights into employment readiness. The session also encompassed essential topics such as financial literacy and digital skills. Notably, financial literacy education covered areas such as opening a bank account, budgeting, saving, managing credit and debt, and understanding rental agreements. The interactive nature of the workshop allowed the young adults to actively engage with the facilitators, seeking advice on independent living skills, career alternatives, and financial literacy.
The workshop played a key role in empowering young adults by equipping them with the necessary tools to become active citizens in their communities. OCOF HHCSA’s Country Director, Lourenza Foghill, emphasised that “the impact of sharing vital information with these young individuals cannot be fully quantified. This glimpse of having an agency and guidance for life outside of the walls of the institution will bring hope to these young people of a better future”.
The partnership with GDSD and Deloitte marked a significant step forward in supporting young adults transitioning out of alternative care. By addressing the challenges faced by young people living in CYCC’s, the workshop was able to provide skills and knowledge young people need for a successful future. The workshop not only provided practical guidance but also instilled a sense of hope and possibility. By empowering them, we are creating a path towards a more inclusive and integrated society.