Lawrence House
Lawrence House is a child and youth care centre registered with the Department of Social Development. The house is based in Woodstock and can accommodate up to 25 children and youth. We specialise in the care and protection of unaccompanied foreign minors and refugee children, as well as of children who have experienced trauma.
In line with the requirements of the Children’s Act, Lawrence House offers a variety of programmes to address all beneficiaries’ needs, both from a therapeutic and developmental perspective. To address specific needs arising from the children and youth’ documentation status, Lawrence House partners with the Scalabrini Centre advocacy team as well as other stakeholders.
  • Provide basic care and protection to children in need, including accommodation, meals, education (mainstream and special needs) and health care,
  • Provide the necessary needs-directed therapeutic and developmental services, ensuring that the children are equipped and supported to cope with the challenges they face and are assisted to achieve their full potential
  • Promote family reunification, where possible and appropriate, and to work towards the reintegration of children into the community.
Lawrence House aims at providing a safe and caring environment where children and youth displaying psychological, emotional and behavioural challenges can embark on journeys of healing and recovery as to become young people equipped with the necessary skills and competencies to manage themselves and to successfully reintegrate in society.
Residential Care Programme
Overall goal:
To welcome children/youth into a safe and caring environment
Programme objectives:
  • To receive children/youth placed on a temporary safe care or finalised order in a welcoming and sensitive manner
  • To provide an environment in which children/youth are protected from physical, social and emotional harm whether placement is temporary or long term
  • To see to all their basic needs regardless of duration of stay (care, accommodation, nutrition, physical well-being/health)
  • To provide a therapeutic milieu in which children/youth can initiate their individual journeys of healing irrespective of a temporary safe care or long term placement
  • To ensure children/youth access education and educational services
Daily Living Behaviour Management Programme
Overall goal:
To modify the distortions and absences within each child’s/youth’ circle of courage
Programme objectives:
  • To teach children/youth a daily routine which has a structuring effect on them and their behaviour
  • To (re-) accustom children/youth to a normalised living environment
  • To provide opportunities for skills acquisition and development as part of the children's/youth' self-management goals through daily practical activities
  • To make children/youth receptive for therapeutic interventions by creating trust relationships and building a sense of safety
  • To identify through the behaviour modification component of the programme specific needs of children/youth who display more severe behavioural or psychological challenges
  • To stabilise and assess children/youth with psychiatric or psychological conditions
Transitional Support Programme
Overall Goal:
To prepare youth to successfully manage their transition from residential care
Programme objectives:
  • To equip youth with practical skills and emotional readiness to manage themselves and their environment upon transitioning from institutionalised care
  • To provide experiential learning opportunities through CYCW led interventions and by partnering with Mamelani Project’s Proseed programme
  • To have a dedicated work team for this programme that champions the various interventions and reviews the youth practice design for Lawrence House
  • To assist youth to identify and choose a career path by offering skills development opportunities (job shadows, internships, part-time jobs and community service)
  • To render family preservation and reconstruction work
  • To provide after-care services including a network for all ‘past residents’
Recreation Programme
Overall Goal:
To use all recreational activities intentionally to support the individual development of children and youth in line with Lawrence House’ strength-based methodology
Programme Objectives:
  • To allow children/youth to choose and explore an activity they enjoy and which provides them with personal growth opportunities, development of skills, social relationships, network of support and responds to needs identified in their assessment via the circle of courage
  • Provision of structured and unstructured recreational activities and play to afford recreational time to children/youth
  • Encouragement of physical activities for healthy well-being
  • To provide learning opportunities within the recreational context based on the child’s/youth’ interest
  • To provide holiday programmes for children/youth who are not placed out
  • To provide occasions to celebrate the children’s/youth achievements, to display their talents and skills and to enrich and strengthen relationships in the home
Therapeutic Social Work Programme
Overall Goal:
To provide therapeutic intervention services to children and youth in care as to enhance their psychological, emotional and social well-being as well as to promote and enhance integration and inclusion by extension of services to the surrounding community.
Programme Objectives:
  • To assist in redressing past trauma experienced and working towards developing the strengths of the children and young people in care so they may grow to become well balanced, happy individuals integrated into their surrounding community
Care and Protection Services for Separated Refugee Children and Unaccompanied Minors
Overall Goal:
To address the additional needs and challenges of separated refugee children and foreign unaccompanied minors
Programme Objectives:
  • To assess foreign children/youth including the use of UNHCR BIA (Best Interest Assessment) and/or BID (Best Interest Determination) forms to determine their permanency and care plan
  • To investigate the events that led to the child's/youth' arrival in South Africa as to verify whether the child/youth has an asylum claim
  • To explore document options for the child/youth as to allow full exercise of constitutional rights
  • To perform international tracing in partnership with international organisations and within the local migrant and refugee communities as to explore family reunification as first option
  • To implement awareness raising activities to inform of the rights and challenges experienced by this vulnerable group of children/youth
  • To assist partner organisations in dealing with issues relating to this category of children/youth
Lawrence House is not just a home for those in need; it is a crossway for many children, youth, families and volunteers that have crossed paths in Lawrence House over the years.
Fred lived at Lawrence House. Read about his story here.
Ashalina also lived at Lawrence House. Read about her story here here.
Romina is the senior child and youth care worker at Lawrence House. Read her story here.
Kelly is a former volunteer and current donor to Lawrence House. Read her story here.
Get Involved
Lawrence House needs the support of many to run its programmes and activities and to best responds to everybody’s needs. We are in regular need of tutors, mentors, child and youth care worker interns, host families and cooking volunteers. Or if you have a special skill you believe can benefit the children and youth at Lawrence House – contact us!
Our requirements are:
  • Minimum commitment of 3 months
  • Minimum volunteering age of 23
  • Copy of ID
  • Police clearance or affidavit stating that prospective volunteer has committed no crimes
  • Signing of volunteer contract and code of conduct
Wish list 2016
A big family like Lawrence House has an ongoing need of the following items:
  • Toiletries (soap, toothpaste/brush, roll-on/spray, lotion, shampoo)
  • Stationary (Exam pads, hardcover books (96, 192, 288 pages) pens, cookies, etc)
  • Cleaning items (washing powder, dish washer, all-purpose cleaner, bleach)
  • None-perishable food items (peanut butter, long-life milk, baked beans, tuna, etc)
  • Second hand clothing for boys and girls in good condition
Then we have more specific needs that relate to our activities and programmes and requests made by Lawrence House kids and youth:
  • Reading books to update our libraries
  • DVDs (age appropriate movies)
  • Outdoor equipment such as soccer/basketballs, badminton racket, skates
  • Anything for our gym (weights, dumbbells, skipping ropes, yoga mats)
If you would like to volunteer, or are able to donate any of the above, please contact the Lawrence House team here or 021 448 1144.
Thank you!