Residents learn family strengthening skills

Suzette Little, mayoral committee member for area north, with Nombuyiselo Dziba and Terence Crowster, from the social development and early childhood development directorate.

Residents of Scottsville and Eikendal have received certificates for taking part in a programme to strengthen families.

Suzette Little, mayoral committee member for area north presented the certificates to 26 families last weekend. The programme was started in 2013 and has reached more than 500 families in 35 suburbs. It is designed to improve communication and relationships within families.

It is part of a campaign by the social development and early childhood development directorate to stamp out substance abuse.

“We realise that to tackle social issues such as gang violence and drug abuse, we need to start at the heart of our communities. We need families to be strong to stand against these ills in our society,” said Ms Little.

Families often needed help to communicate and make informed choices.

“Poor choices are often the result of struggles within families which then spill over into communities. It is not always easy to admit when you need help, and the families taking part in this programme are very brave in taking this step.

“While they are doing it for themselves and to improve their relationships, it also benefits the community to have stronger families,” Ms Little said.

Topics for parents and caregivers in the Strengthening Families programme include setting limits, dealing with drugs, and encouraging good behaviour.

Children are taught how to deal with peer pressure, to appreciate their parents, and to have goals and dreams.