Volunteer//Foster Parenting Guidelines

We sincerely appreciate each and every student and adult who kindly donates time, skills and effort to the various children of this organization. Although a great deal of our children live at the Haven with their mothers, we also have many children who have been orphaned due to HIV/AIDS, and some children who are HIV+.
Some of our children have had a history of deprivation and neglect prior to arriving and many have has issues of loss and bereavement to work through.

Our philosophy at the Haven is that EVERY child is special and loved. Please bear in mind that not all the children are fortunate enough to have a ‘special’ person who visits, takes them for weekend visits or buys them treats. With this in mind, and to assist us with issues that have manifested at the Haven, please take the following into consideration:
  • Weekend visits away from the Haven should be every alternate weekend only. Not only do the children have chores and responsibilities over weekends but the children who do not get invited out tend to feel lost and forlorn if their friends are away every weekend.
  • Gifts/clothes/treats: please restrict these to the minimum or discuss your ideas with our Resident Manager. It is difficult for children (particularly our orphans) to manage conflicting emotions when some children receive gifts and others are not as fortunate.
  • Requests from our children: although we strive to teach our children certain values and norms, we are aware that children tend to make unreasonable demands for clothes, toys extra visits and the like. Please do not indulge in their requests. Special items must please only be purchased for a birthday or Christmas. We feel that things like cell phones are just not acceptable gifts, open to ‘in house’ theft etc. which occurs in homes.
  • Commitment to a child: please, where possible, do not disappoint a child by changing an arrangement at the last minute. Like all children, ours are vulnerable to hurt and despair when adults don’t stick to their word.
Suggestions/Comments: please feel free to make any suggestions which you feel will help in adding value to the children, be it recreationally or academically.