Free call centre opened for panicked pupils and parents

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The command centre is normally a 24-hour toll-free line that offers counselling support by trained social workers for victims of gender-based violence, but will, for a limited period, be open for both parents and matriculants struggling to deal with the anxiety and tension surrounding the release of results.

“We know that some matriculants at this time may be anxious and there have been reports previously of some who take their own lives. We want to say to both parents and their children that they can make use of the command centre. We also want to caution our young people against turning to alcohol and drugs during this period,” said Dlamini.

The command centre can be reached toll-free on 0800 428 428. Callers can also request a social worker from the command centre to contact them by SMSing *120*7867# from any cellphone.

Dlamini also extended her well wishes to young heads of households who wrote their matric examinations this year. “When we supported Isibindi we wanted to make sure that children who are orphans firstly stay together and receive support while they remain in the family unit. We wanted to ensure that they also do not fall through the cracks and that they also have access to basic needs so that they can continue with their schooling,” said Dlamini.

Last year, 2 888 young people who are supported by the department’s Isibindi Programme wrote their examinations. The programme is an initiative that deploys trained community-based child and youth care workers in communities in an innovative team outreach programme providing care, protection and developmental support to vulnerable children and families. The Isibindi class of 2014 achieved a pass rate of 75 percent – an indication that the programme was making inroads.

Through Isibindi, the Department of Social Development provides social support services to more than 100 000 children on a daily basis. The department has also established the Child- and Youth-Headed Household Register in an effort to locate child- and youth-headed households in the country in order to offer them the necessary social welfare, social security and psychosocial services and other integrated government services they may require for their development.

Details: Gender Based Violence Command Centre 0800 428 428 or *120*7867#

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