Athlone Children’s Home provides full-time care for 49 abandoned, abused and neglected children from birth to 5 years old, irrespective of race, religion or HIV status. It strives to create a warm, friendly environment where the children can grow emotionally, physically and socially. The home is registered with the Department of Social Development and receives a subsidy for each child they care for. Through the assistance received from volunteers, they are able to provide these children with much needed individual attention. They care for the children until they can be placed back with their families, or sometimes with foster families; however, in certain cases where home circumstances have not improved or no suitable foster families have been found, they are transferred to other children’s homes.
In order to facilitate the process of reintegrating the children into the community, a weekend and holiday hosting programme is run. Families and individuals who have been screened take one or more children out for the day, weekend or holiday.
They have an onsite school for the older children, which they attend every weekday. Three teachers run the school, with the assistance of volunteers. A panel of volunteer doctors regularly examines and treats the children when they are ill. Children who indicate behavioral or developmental problems receive specialised care from various clinics in the area.