We’ve been working with our partners in South Africa, Childline South Africa and with UK Police Link Offer’s for the Deaf (PLOD), to scope out our Signing Safe Futures programme. This will see DeafKidz International work to develop Childline South Africa’s capacity to respond to the needs of D/deaf children who have been victims of abuse – in particular sexual abuse. Our UK PLOD partners will work with the South African Police Service to develop a network of Police Link Officers for the Deaf, with responsibility for affording policing and criminal justice support to D/deaf children and young people who have become victims of crime. This initiative will include the development of communication skills for a range of legal professions including court intermediaries, prosecutors and more.
Delivered across the Childline South Africa network, Signing Safe Futures will see provision at thirteen Thuthuzela Care Centre’s made accessible to D/deaf children who have suffered rape, sexual and violent assault. Here clinical, policing and psycho-welfare support will be provided in the communication mode of choice. All of which serves to illustrate that no matter how difficult the issues, we’ll be there.
There is no immediate solution here – just the first phase of our programme which will take five years but with our partners, we’re committed to the long haul; to building an approach and capacity that can self-perpetuate and be sustainable.
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