CATCH has created sustainable pathways for children that are aimed at reducing the number of children that are in prison today and rehabilitation of children that have encountered a conflict with the law. Our pathways are a basic approach to the social welfare models of case management, all children that fall into our system is assigned a case handler (who is also a social work officer) and a legal officer. This assists the child to have as limited access as possible from the justice system and increased access to the social and child protection services. Working within this socio-legal model that combines approaches from law and social work CATCH manages to attain its main focus areas.
Furthermore, in Manicaland we started a Post Trauma.Response program that caters to victims/survivors of sexual, physical, emotional and domestic abuse. This program implants local based case workers to identify, offer assistance and support to victims in the district.
Case Management (Social Workers)
The focus of the department is the rehabilitation of child offenders and children that have faced abuse using deliberate and organized social work methods and addressing the welfare needs of children outside the legal framework (information gathered by the department can be used to support legal aid work). Ultimately the department seeks to correct and help build children’s support systems, which would have been dysfunctional leading or pushing children to be in contact with the law. Case management brings together different child protection players to address the different needs of an individual child and his/her family. Activities under case management include family therapy, counseling (pre and post-trial/post-abuse),case conferencing, home assessment visits, peer support groups, linking up children to other specialist service providers etc.
Education and Awareness
The focus is information dissemination to children, their families as well as the community at large to address the huge information gap that exists in terms of them not being able to claim their rights as they may not be aware of those rights. Platforms that have been created include the following; support groups for child offenders, Conversation cafes for children in schools and ‘shoko’ campaigns for communities at large particularly parents as the primary duty bearers.