RAPCAN develops practice models for the prevention of child maltreatment/abuse.

Children’s rights are human rights that are universal to all in the world. Innovative ways to promote child participation and protection is necessary thus RAPCAN develops its practice models using its unique and innovative methodology of evidence based learning. Each practice model is created from a project that is planned, executed and monitored in a particular community context, and using the learning outcomes that can be used as resource tools for other communities.

The practice models are shared with key stakeholders and serve as advocacy tools to strengthen proposals for policy and practice shifts. Resource tools are developed using the practice models and is used to train, strengthen and increase the capacity of government, civil society, child protection service-providers and community participants.

Practice Models Developed

Child Participation:

RAPCAN aims to investigate the interventions needed to facilitate and promote children’s involvement in decision-making in their homes and community. The evidence-gathering for this practice model started 2013 in Groendal, Franschoek/Stellenbosch. RAPCAN has since evolved this model to incorporate good planning, monitoring and evaluation using methods such as appreciative enquiry, most significant change, logical framework and outcome mapping.

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Children Are Precious:

RAPCAN partnered with the Lavender Hill community from 2009 to 2012 to implement this ecological, prevention orientated, rights based and community centred model for child protection. It included primary prevention interventions such as communication for social change; secondary prevention interventions such as training of educators and parents; as well as tertiary prevention interventions such as resilience building group work with children experiencing barriers to learning. The project has now been handed over to the community partners and RAPCAN serves as a mentor and capacity builder.

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RAPCAN developed this practice model because therapy for children who have experienced sexual abuse is in limited supply. The Healers package is a resource kit for trained healers to facilitate a healing relationship with a child. The age-appropriate books for healers and children form the basis of a travelling suitcase of resources. RAPCAN transferred this project and resources to National Childline for scale up in 2011.

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Child Witness Project:

This model is considered RAPCAN’s flagship practice model implemented by RAPCAN from 2001 to 2012 in up to 6 sexual offences courts in the Western Cape to decrease secondary trauma of child victims.

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Today’s Children Tomorrow’s Parents:

RAPCAN tested its Positive sexual decision-making life-skills as part of the grade 8 life orientation curriculum at Lavender Hill High School in 2010 and 2011. Facilitators partnered with learners to deliver the Today’s Children, Tomorrow’s Parents manual. The TCTP practice model developed tackled issues related to adult discomfort with guiding adolescent sexual decision making and learners drawing primarily on peer group norms to inform sexual decision making. Simultaneously Dr Anik Gevers developed another rigorous model for adolescent sexual decision making known as Respect 4 U, which RAPCAN endorses as a resource to use and the TCTP model as a point of reference.

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Positive Discipline:

RAPCAN developed resources for educators and parents to provide positive discipline techniques. These were developed in response to the South African law that abolished corporal and humiliating punishment of children everywhere except in the home, where children are most vulnerable to abuse. RAPCAN was also instrumental in an advocacy campaign to abolish corporal and humiliating punishment of South African children in their homes. The resources were handed over to the Working Group for Positive Discipline.

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