Strengthening Families in Cape Town: A Decade of Comprehensive Program for Social Cohesion

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strengthening families programme family relationships

As we approach International Family Day on May 15th, it is an opportune moment to reflect on the success of the City of Cape Town’s Strengthening Families programme. This initiative has completed a decade since its pilot in 2013 and has become a critical part of the City’s numerous social crime and substance abuse interventions. The programme has supported more than 1,700 families in the region, focusing on substance abuse prevention and interventions.

Background and Approach

Belonging to the City’s Social Development and Early Childhood Development (SD&ECD) Department, the Strengthening Families Programme has gained international recognition for its comprehensive approach. The initiative works closely with both children and parents to acknowledge the true value of family relationships. The programme comprises ten sessions spread over eight weeks, emphasizing the significance of familial bonds and offering strategies to manage stress. Moreover, the programme guides children in setting goals and realizing their aspirations.

By June 2018, the programme had reached 1,076 families in the metropole, which has risen to an impressive 1,713 families since the post-pandemic era. The 25 facilitators assigned to the programme have conducted 23 sessions in various regions, such as Eersteriver, Khayelitsha, Manenberg, Athlone, Atlantis, Vrygrond, and Mitchells Plain.

Objectives and Impact

The Strengthening Families programme aims to enhance children’s social, communication, and life skills, while fostering improved parent-child relationships within a family setting. With a dual focus on prevention and education, the initiative addresses various issues such as aggression, juvenile delinquency, and mental health. The program encompasses not only substance abuse interventions but also education on the importance of communication, decision-making, and problem-solving.

Community Engagement

Councillor Van der Ross expressed gratitude for the many families actively participating in the programme, emphasizing the pivotal role families play in addressing community challenges. Acknowledging parents’ responsibility in providing a safe and nurturing environment for children’s growth and development, he encouraged everyone to recognize the impact of families on our social fabric during International Family Day. By collectively working towards strengthening family values and relationships, we can contribute to building a safer and more resilient community for everyone’s benefit.

Success and Way Forward

The Strengthening Families programme’s success demonstrates the importance of community engagement in addressing social issues. By providing a platform for families to learn and grow together, the program empowers parents and children to be proactive in creating positive change in their lives. This comprehensive approach to social cohesion has the potential to improve the well-being of not only the families involved but also the wider community.

For more information on how to participate in the City’s Strengthening Families programme, please visit:

As we celebrate International Family Day, let us appreciate the efforts and initiatives like the Strengthening Families programme that emphasize the importance of strong, supportive family relationships. It is through these efforts that we can continue to make a positive impact on our society and create a more cohesive community for all.

A Russian-Spanish journalist and Cape Town native, channels his lifelong passion for South Africa into captivating stories for his local blog. With a diverse background and 50 years of rich experiences, Serjio's unique voice resonates with readers seeking to explore Cape Town's vibrant culture. His love for the city shines through in every piece, making Serjio the go-to source for the latest in South African adventures.

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