Since last year, it was agreed that it was necessary to have parents more involved in the day to day development and education of their children, both at the center and home.
Initially, some parents treated the whole program as a care center, whereby they dropped and picked up their children without so much concern on what activities their children were involved in, and had to wait for six months for a report from the teachers!
So, to make it more involving, every Friday before pick up, each parent has to have a one on one meeting with the teachers to be briefed on the progress of the child, as well as instructions for weekend activities. And, every Monday, after every drop, each parent has to report to the teachers about the weekend activities, and if there are any new observations on behaviour of the child. This ensures continuity of the program in both environments, and children do not easily retrogress. This was topped up by monthly parental meetings where teachers, parents and other caretakers discuss at length the progress of each child; as a group and individually. In these meetings as well, different types of disabilities are discussed; causes, prevention, treatment, to keep the parents in the know. These meetings also work as support systems for these parents; they freely share issues about their children, encourage and advise each other.
The first meeting of 2020 was held on 07th February. 18 out of 21 parents were in attendance. The seminar was facilitated by social skills teachers, assistant therapists, and social workers, in collaboration with the PC. The social workers touched on Acceptance, where parents were urged and advised on steps to acceptance of disability and how to manage expectations. Therapists trained parents on home remedies of managing/stopping drooling in children while teachers gave brief reports on each child and what they expected from the parents. Also, parents were given an opportunity to give their evaluations on the progress of their children. The meeting was then closed by the PC who reminded the parents on the importance of the program and their responsibilities towards their children; parents should cooperate effectivelly with teachers and all other service providers from Sibusiso in order to achieve the expected/ desired results.
The next meeting is scheduled for 17th April, 2020.