The Child Care Centre is a support facility for the children of our former Refuge residents who are domestic violence survivors. They have difficulty in finding reliable childcare while they restablish their careers. We help to place their children in the CCC temporarily upon the mother's request. We ensure they get access to education and empower them to become resilient survivors. They are given specialised care by a social worker and child-minders. We sheltered a total of 37 children in 2015.
In 1991 WAO opened a Child Care Centre, the first of its kind in this country, a support facility for single mothers who have survived domestic violence that not only empowers the mothers but the children who are themselves survivors and witnesses to domestic violence. These children have witnessed violence or are victims of violence themselves. Sexual and emotional abuse is also more likely to happen in these families.
The children can stay up to 2 years to allow the mothers to find a job, a home and have savings. Mothers visit or stay over at the CCC to spend quality time with them. Each child receives education and participates in recreational and educational activities as well as counselling sessions conducted by a WAO social worker. They discuss various issues that may be troubling them like the impact of violence on their lives, bullying, personal safety and building their self - esteem.
We provide direct services assisting up to 3,000 women and children a year. The greatest challenges faced by women and their children are in the first 24 months after leaving the violent home. WAO's data shows that people who have experienced domestic violence as children have a higher risk of repeating the cycle as adults but there is also equally strong evidence that children will recover in a safe environment and evolve from victims into empowered survivors with a holistic support system.