FAMILY PRESERVATION PROJECT
The CJCP piloted the Family Preservation project in the Cape Town communities of Wesbank and Belhar. The project is unique in South Africa, where very little research and few interventions have been done into the risk factors that contribute towards determining a young person’s vulnerability to becoming involved in crime. The project is a collaboration between the CJCP and the Western Cape Department of Social Development, which has funded the pilot project. Community members, schools and project staff are also partners in the project.
The pilot has been underway in two communities in Cape Town with high levels of poverty and unemployment, gang violence, substance abuse and child abuse and neglect. Both communities are remote from parts of the city where social and economic opportunities are concentrated.
The programme developed a multi-pronged approach which is aimed at all members of the family, in order to make the family unit cohesive and strong Motivating young people to finish matric is one of the project’s main aims, as the CJCP’s research shows that young people who complete school are less likely to engage in crime. This and other research findings contributed to the development of the CJCP’s resilience model, which informed the kind of interventions that the project would pilot. A central aim of the project is to divert youth from participating in crime.
The five-year family preservation project draws to a close in 2015 and its future is unclear. The CJCP plays an important role as a research institute and this project and others have provided a basis for qualitative and quantitative research into what works and what does not work with respect to youth diversion and family preservation in South Africa.
Click here to watch a short video looking at the project in Wesbank.