Celebrating 40 Years of Positive Parenting: A Timeline

2023 marks a significant milestone for The Parent Centre as we celebrate 40 years in existence and 40 years of Positive Parenting.

Through our vision to contribute to a society in which every parent/caregiver can raise resilient and well- balanced children in ways that enable them to develop their full potential, protected from victimisation and abuse in communities free from violence, we have achieved a lot and remain as motivated today as our founders were 40 years ago.

Out biggest achievement, and reward for the work we do of course, will always be the parents and children we can help.

40 Years of Positive Parenting: A Timeline

Join us as we take a journey through our 40 year timeline, highlighting significant milestones, events, and achievements along the way.

The Eighties

1978-1982: CTCWS Research indicates the need for a parenting service

Cape Town Child Welfare Society (CTCWS), under the Directorship of Helen Starke, conducts research which clearly identified the need for support and information to parents, other caregivers and persons working with children.

1982: First parenting organisation in SA

On 2 May 1983 CTCWS establishes a project called Family Focus, the first of its kind in South Africa, with a staff of four enthusiastic women (parents and professionals): Hermien Wengrowe, Mireille Landman, Hilary Rosenthal, and Janet Bourhill.

1984: Move to Claremont

Family Focus moves to Struben House, Eden Road, Claremont.

1987: Community Education Department opens

A Community Education Department, headed up by Fouzia Ryklief, is established which extends the centre’s services into under-resourced communities.

1987: First Parenting Manual for SA parents

in response to parents’ difficulties with some of the content of the USA S.T.E.P programme TPC staff develop a Positive Parenting Manual for SA parents.

1987: Hewat Training

An annual parenting skills module for the students at Hewat Teachers Training College and University of Cape Town (UCT) Masters in Medicine students is initiated.

1988: From Family Focus to The Parent Centre

The Centre’s name is changed to “The Parent Centre” (TPC) to reflect the work of the centre more accurately.

The Nineties

1990: National Convention Rights of the Child

TPC advances the rights of children through close work with the National Convention on the Rights of the Child.

1990: The Parent Centre Athlone opens

The Parent Centre opens an office in Melofin Building, Athlone.

1992: Partnering with UWC

TPC partners with the University of Western Cape (UWC) Parent Education Project to promote 1positive parenting in deprived areas in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town.

1994: Khayelitsha office opens

1994: First Antenatal and Postnatal Home Visiting Programme in SA

TPC launches the Healthy Families Africa home visiting programme with vulnerable pregnant women and new mothers in Hanover Park. It is an adaptation of the Health Families America Programme.

1997: Move from Project to Branch

Owing to CTCWS’s rationalisation process, TPC becomes an independent branch on 1 April 1997.

1997: Human Science Research Council Case Study

TPC’s model is used as a case study by the South African Human Sciences Research Council and its draft report notes that the clarity and relative simplicity of TPC’s approach means it can be replicated easily in other areas.

1996-2001: First RCT

A Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) of the home visiting programme in Khayelitsha (Thula Sana) shows that the programme, delivered by lay community counsellors, had a significant positive impact on the quality of the mother-infant relationship and security of attachment.

A New Century

2000: First Teen Parenting (TP) Programme

The first TP Programme is launched in response to requests by educators in the townships who were concerned about the increasing number of teenage learners raising their biological children or siblings.

2001: Global “tightening of belts”

TPC’s fledgling independence coupled with an economic downswing and a “global tightening of belts” creates huge financial pressure. Fundraiser Tamsin Ractliffe helps to stave off the centre’s closure.

2003-2006: Move to Wynberg

TPC moves from Struben House to 155-on-Main, Main Road, Wynberg. In 2006, TPC moved urgently again, when 155-on- Main was earmarked for residential units. 123-on-Main, Main Road Wynberg is TPC’s new head office for the next 12 years.

2006: Mitchell’s Plain Office Opens

TPC opens an office in Mitchell’s Plain, sharing premises with FAMSA and Lifeline.

2007: Mentoring and Support (M & S) Programme

2008: Parenting in Africa Network

TPC participates in roundtable talks in Kenya which culminates in the creation of the Parenting in Africa Network (PAN) and subsequently becomes an active PAN member.

2009: Filming with HRH Princess Madeleine, Sweden

The World Childhood Foundation, founded by Queen Sylvia of Sweden, becomes a funding partner for the next 5 years. Princess Madeleine and RTL Television visits to film TPC’s home visiting programme in Imizamo Yethu.

2009: Publication in British Medical Journal

The Randomised Controlled Trial of the Parent-Infant Infant Intervention Home Visiting Programme is published in the British Medical Journal.

2010: Fatherhood Project Piloted

In collaboration with the Western Cape DSD a Pilot Fatherhood Programme is launched in the West Coast and rural Eden/Karoo districts.

1987: PAN Leadership

Teen Parenting Programme Manager, Julia Starck is appointed the Chairperson of PAN.

2012: First Parenting Seminar

Western Province DSD, FAMSA, Gender Trsformation Network and TPC collaborate in the first Parenting Seminar and Expo.

2012: Mitchell’ Plain Forum

Mitchell’s Plain Parenting Forum under the leadership of Charlene Arkeldien is established to facilitate, co- ordinate and deliver parenting services to the Mitchell’s Plain community.

2013: First Parent Support Group Manual

TPC’s first Manual for Parent Support Group Facilitation is developed.

2013: SA Child Gauge Case Study

TPC’s Parent-Infant Infant Intervention Home Visiting Programme and Positive Parenting Programme are cited as case studies in the 2013 South African Child Gauge focusing on essential services for young children.

2013: First international 2013 Social Work interns

TPC hosts international social worker interns for the first time- Sylke Burger and Verena Kopin, (University of Cologne, Germany). They become ambassadors and volunteer fundraisers for TPC.

2015-2021: Global Fund Project

Though collaboration with NACOSA, TPC’s Teen Parenting Programme is selected as one of the programmes, in a basket of evidence-based programmes, in the Global Fund Young Women which aims to reduce the rate of and Girls (YWAG) Programme HIV infection amongst young girls and women aged 14 to 24 years.

Under the YWAG Programme, TPC trains more than 200 social workers across the country, to implement the Teen Parenting Programme in their communities.

2015: Recognition of TPC Best Practice Models

TPC’s Fatherhood Programme and Teen Parenting Programme are recognised as Best Practice Models at the National Department of Social Development’s National Conference in Pretoria.

2017: First time property ownership

Trifid Foundation, a funding partner since 2004, gives TPC funding to purchase and renovate its own property, at 22 Wetton Road Wynberg.

2018: Constitutional Court Appeal Hearing on the banning of corporal punishment in the home TPC shares expert knowledge on alternatives to corporal punishment

TPC was approached by the Centre for Child Law, to share expert knowledge on alternatives to corporal punishment, in a Constitutional Court Appeal Hearing on 29 November 2018, which considered the constitutionality of corporal punishment in the home.

2018: SAPPIN leadership

TPC’s Blanche Rezant becomes a driver group member of the South African Parenting Programme Implementers Network (SAPPIN) which aims to be an advocacy vehicle for parenting programmes, in SA.

2018: Move to 22 Wetton Road, Wynberg

TPC moves into its own home on 19 November 2018.

2015-2021: Surviving the harsh financial times and COVID-19 pandemic

TPC’s Board and staff rally and get through the unprecedented times. TPC’s programmes are re-imagined for online delivery.

2021: Restructuring for Sustainability

TPC undergoes a “restructuring for sustainability process” resulting in several key staff changes e.g. A Programmes Manager is appointed.

2022: Major renovations at 22 Wetton Road begin

Renovations commenced in February 2022. The Centre for Early Childhood kindly provided supervision Development and Childline and meeting space for TPC staff while renovations were under way.

2023: A time to celebrate

Time for joy and celebrations. Building renovations at 22 Wetton Road, Wynberg are completed. TPC has beautiful new counselling and training facilities.

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Name | The Parent Centre
Acc type | Cheque
Bank | First National Bank
Acc No. 501 5111 8286
Branch code | 201109
Reference | Name