Girls & Boys Town is different!

Boys and Girls Town South Africa Website
accessed August 6, 2016

The story of Girls and Boys Town is one of the most heart-warming tales of human endeavour of the 20th Century. it is a story of faith, courage and compassion – one that captured the imagination of the world and changed the way South Africa cares for challenged youth.

Founded by the late Bishop Reginald Orsmond in 1958 and based on the principles of Father Flanagan's famous Girls & Boys Town in Nebraska, USA, Girls & Boys Town has given thousands of children of all races, genders, faith and languages a second chance.

Shattered dreams, sick at heart and often in body too. Some have been physically or sexually abused, neglected or abandoned. Some come from broken or poverty-stricken homes, do badly at school, have discipline issues, reject authority, and lack social skills.

What makes us different

The name Girls and Boys Town is synonymous with the peer-group system of self-government – a unique concept where youngsters are significantly involved in decision-making concerning their own affairs.

Under the guidance of adults, the kids actually govern themselves, electing their Mayor, Councillors and Managers who make the rules and see that they are kept. This capitalises on the teenage desire to be admired and respected by their peers, forges great leadership skills and instills responsibility and values for life.

Our eight registered Children's Homes – four large Youth Development Centres and four community 'family' homes – offer residential care to children whose own families cannot cope and who don't do well in foster care.

For more information about our residential care facilities, please click here.

What we do

Girls and Boys Town, South Africa delivers national services that:

  • Focus on the individual needs of youth in family homes and youth development centres, by implementing nationally researched, standardised and specialised child & youth care programmes.
  • Improve the healthy development of youth in the broader community through Girls and Boys Town’s national hotline and regional training and resource centres.
  • Capacitate parents, caregivers, families, community professionals, educators and others in the field of youth development through training. 
  • Are sensitive to the need to deliver community based services for youth in greatest need in less resourced communities.  

Reaching out  

As a result of the expertise and experience built up over the years, and in association with Girls & Boys Town USA, we have been pioneering, adapting and testing various outreach programmes. The most effective of these are the 'Common Sense Parenting' and the 'Well Managed Classroom' programmes.

These hold out the most promise for youth, parents, families, educators, schools and communities in South Africa.

Youth Ethnicity  

Girls and Boys Town has, historically, made every effort to ensure that no young person is excluded from receiving care, based on religion, ethnicity or economic circumstances.

Similarly, it has been as important to ensure that staff are representative of those with whom they work and serve.  All youth and staff – from Management to on-line workers – are involved in ongoing development and training designed to heighten cultural understanding and sensitivity and experience and appreciate the joy of cultural and individual uniqueness and diversity.














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