SOS Children’s Villages South Africa is passionate about child care and child development. We want to build inclusive societies in which the most vulnerable and marginalised children can flourish. In 11 programmes in 8 provinces around South Africa, SOS Children’s Villages enables children to grow in a caring family environment.

Children need stable, supportive and caring relationships to develop to their full potential. When their rights are respected and realised, they are able to succeed in life. At SOS Children’s Villages, we embrace the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which recognises that a caring and protective family is central to a child’s development. Similarly, we work in line with the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children, which highlight the crucial role of a child’s family and the importance of appropriate alternative care.

With our unique model of SOS family care, we create a family-like environment for children who are without adequate parental care. In our work with SOS families we constantly gain experience and expand our care expertise. We amplify this knowledge to prevent vulnerable families from breaking down through family strengthening and to engage in other forms of locally relevant alternative care.

SOS Children’s Villages South Africa programmes:


We work to provide quality alternative and family-like care for children who can no longer live with their parents. We are committed to ensuring the highest standards of care in all our programmes and work with governments and communities to improve alternative child care systems.

We believe that, whenever possible, children should grow up with their biological families. But family breakdown is sometimes unavoidable. At such times, children need suitable alternative care until their family’s circumstances improve enough for them to return home, if possible. Children who no longer have parental care require long-term quality alternative care to support them in developing into independent adults.

We promote and are guided by the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care for Children to which we made key contributions in the development process. In line with the guidelines, we draw on our wealth of experience to provide and support a range of alternative care settings, because different children, different cultures, and different situations call for different care options.

Family Strengthening Programme (FSP)

Families experiencing crises or extreme hardship may have difficulty caring adequately for their children. We work with families and communities to help them build their capacities so that children are well cared for and families stay together.

Every child has the right to grow up in a loving family –preferably with one or both parents. However, sometimes parents are not able to care for their children alone. The reasons why families participate in SOS family strengthening include economic hardship, death of one or both parents and unstable relationships of the parents. The absence of a stable, protective family exposes children to multiple risk factors and makes them vulnerable to neglect, abuse, discrimination and exploitation.

Each child and each family is part of a community. We work with partners to develop strong social support systems for children and families to develop, grow and learn in a positive, supportive environment. Our allies include community-based organisations, local authorities and governments. Together we build resilience in vulnerable families.