The street Children Project was initiated during 1996 in partnership between ACVV Port Elizabeth Central and Youth for Christ in an effort to address the plight of street children in Port Elizabeth, (after several organizations had been struggling for many years to co-ordinate these services).

ACVV provided professional input regarding the following:

–  Development of control systems and a database.
–  Development of educational and therapeutic programs e.g. Assessments, counseling   services, etc
–  Children’s Court inquiries
–  Supervision services and in-service training of staff
–  Registration of the shelter and children’s home
–  Subsidy applications

The services developed into a three-phase project, which consisted of an outreach / street-work programs, a shelter and a children’s home which was situated in North End and Central respectively.

Baakens Valley Children’s Home (now known as ACVV KHAYALETHU YOUTH CENTRE) had been registered as a children’s home with the Department off Social Development on 22 October 1999.

A Developmental Quality Assessment was conducted during August 1999 and the report proved it to be a viable project.  The following important comments were made:

–  Services to street children needed to be multi-faceted and cost effective.
–  Traditional forms of alternate care did not and still does not work with street children, nor can they be
assimilated into conventional children’s homes where they do not meet the entrance criteria.
–  Specialized services to street children needed to be offered and supported by the State.
–  Baakens Valley Children’s home (now known as ACVV  Khayalethu Youth Centre) had the potential to be
not just appropriate, but a highly effective program for street children who have been transferred from a shelter.

(DQA Report 1999)