CLL seeks to reintegrate children with their families and with society through its program of transitional support:
Program Entry – when a child is first introduced to CLL, either through the child coming to the Gbagada Reception Centre or through a referral from another organisation or concerned individual, the child goes through an initial screening by staff, and receives counselling and support as appropriate.
Where the child is willing to provide the necessary information, and wants or can be persuaded to go home, CLL will contact the child’s family and, working with the child and with the relevant member family, will seek to reunite the child with family and follow up with counselling to both child and adult family member, and support to ensure the child goes back to school or other training and stays at home.
Failing the ability to return the child to its family, and based on its assessment of need, CLL may refer vulnerable boys to its Ibeshe residential centre, and girls to appropriate organisations within the Child Protection Network that provide residential care for girls.
All referrals are made with the consent of the child concerned, and transfers to Ibeshe or to a female residential centre are voluntary.
At the Ibeshe Centre, children are placed back in school, in one of the local schools, at the appropriate level (Primary, Junior Secondary or Senior Secondary), to continue their education. For those children who cannot be placed back into the formal education system, traineeships and apprenticeships are sought, in order to provide them with the knowledge and skills to become independent adults. Notwithstanding their placement in the Ibeshe Residential Centre, efforts continue to establish contact with their families. Where family members are eventually located and contacted, even if they are not in a position to take the child in, CLL endeavours to ensure that the contact between the child and its family, once established, is maintained. The child may spend holidays with a family member, and family members are encouraged to visit and take on as much responsibility for the child as they can.
CLL’s goals for the future include:
a. Short term objectives (1 – 4 years)
• Infrastructure/capital projects
Demolish the old dormitory building at Ibeshe and rebuild it, to expand the Residential Centre’s capacity to be able to accommodate 50 children.
Renovate the Gbagada Reception Centre.
Renew office equipment (computers, printers) for more efficient operation.
Re-unite at least 10% of homeless children that come into contact with CLL in any year with a family member and record CLL’s outreach follow-up and results.
Build a first-class database on the street children in contact with CLL, conditions affecting them, and the impact of CLL programs (including outreach efforts and the progress of children after they leave CLL). This will enable us to identify and analyse our successes and failures, & put CLL in a position to share learning with the Child Protection Network (CPN) and others.
Provide on-site vocational training at Ibeshe: tailoring, tie & dye, etc.
Provide extra educational support to the children in school.
Develop a “Skills for Life” curriculum, and schedule for teaching it at Gbagada and Ibeshe.
Maintain the CLL website and keep it current.
Issue and distribute a quarterly newsletter.
Re-visit “Street Wise, Street Weary”; consider publishing an update.
Hold a well-publicised and attended 20th anniversary seminar in 2014 that stimulates dialogue on the plight of street children, shares experiences and learning.
Generate sufficient funds to be able to meet on-going costs (including the capital projects listed under Infrastructure).
Establish an Endowment Trust Fund and save at least N3MM a year into the Fund.
b. Long term objectives (5 – 10 years)
To build sufficient organisational capability within the CLL organisation to be able to expand support for homeless and vulnerable children in Lagos and neighbouring states, working with the Child Protection Network and all relevant governmental authorities.
Build up the Endowment Trust Fund to a level where 50% of annual operational expenditure can be met by the interest accruing to the Fund.