The City of Cape Town’s Strengthening Families programme, first piloted in 2013, has seen 1 076 families go through the process. This weekend an additional 315 families graduated after they completed the programme during this financial year.
The families have been guided through the internationally recognised Strengthening Families programme which helps both child and parent recognise the value in a familial relationship.
The Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien says they realised that to tackle social issues such as gang violence and drug abuse, they need to start at the heart of the community which is families.
“The Strengthening Families programme is one of our many social crime and substance abuse interventions. Often problems at home are blamed for social ills such as substance abuse, gang involvement, truancy and other negative behaviours. This programme starts at the root and aims to improve relationships and the overall climate in the home environment. It also helps to build resilience in young people so that they are able to make good life choices.”
The programme uses practical and interactive methods to encourage communication between parents and children, and is an evidence-based programme that has proven results.
“Families need help not just to communicate and understand each other better, but often also to make more informed and better choices. Poor choices are often a result of discord within families which then spill over into communities. While there is no guarantee that a happy home prevents anti-social behaviour, the programme assists by instilling positive behaviour early on.”
The eight-week course comprises 10 sessions and uses practical and interactive methods to broach topics like love and limits, house rules, encouraging good behaviour and consequences. It teaches children how to have goals and dreams, how to appreciate their parents, how to deal with stress, how to resist peer pressure and to associate themselves with good friends.
The programme will be rolled out to more suburbs during the new financial year.