To reduce pressure on the Langlaagte facility, a policy of decentralisation was adopted and divisions were established in Potchefstroom (1956) and Nylstroom (1959). These two homes became independent of the original organisation in 1981.
But the inadequacy of dormitory-style housing for children’s development became increasingly apparent. During the 1960s and 1970s, the cottage system was gradually introduced, allowing no more than 30 children to share a dwelling at any given time. As facilities improved, and to cater for the changing needs of its children, the number of children per dwelling was gradually reduced. Today, only 10-12 children occupy a dwelling.
In 1994, the Abraham Kriel Children’s Home amalgamated with the Maria Kloppers Children’s Haven, and in 1995 the Emdeni Children’s Home was taken into the fold. That same year, the first satellite house was established in Linden, Johannesburg. A satellite house is an ordinary house in a suburb, situated away from the central campus, but still under the control and protection of the children’s home. Six more satellite houses were established in the period between 1998 and 2003.
Increasing its reach
In line with government policy, the Home’s focus has been further broadened to accommodate more difficult-to-place children. It now cares primarily for children who have been subjected to severe trauma and children with disabilities, all of whom need specialist care. Most of the disabled children in the Home’s care have mental disabilities.
Operations were further broadened on a number of other fronts and community outreach programmes initiated in the disadvantaged areas of Westbury and Soweto.
In 2003, two new programmes were initiated, extending the Home’s reach far beyond residential care. These are:
- The Johanna Malan Early Childhood Development Centre
- The Steinhoff Extended Family Programme for HIV/AIDS infected and affected children. This programme focuses on child-headed families.
In 2010 the Emdeni Children’s Home finally closed its doors and the centre was fully transformed to serve as a Drop-in centre for HIV/AIDS affected children and a Skills Development Centre for disadvantaged youth from our programmes and from the surrounding community.