Lentegeur Hospital Hosts Annual Lunch for the Rose Parent Project
Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, handed over certificates to and officially thanked, affirmed and validated the work done by Rose Parents at the annual Rose Parent Project lunch on 9 December 2011.
The Rose Parent Project is a community home-based foster care project for Mental Health Care users and promotes community living for institutionalised and destitute persons. The project is based on volunteers/families from the community who avail their homes and time to care for discharged psychiatric patients, who would otherwise have nowhere to go. It also aims to destigmatise mental illness and to optimally rehabilitate Mental Health Care users into the community.
Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, says, "This time of year, it is heartwarming to see the love and care demonstrated by the people of Mitchell's Plain towards destitute patients. We have many patients here at Lentegeur Hospital, the largest psychiatric hospital in the country, in need of foster care and I want to call on more families to come forward and get involved."
Lentegeur Hospital is situated on the border between Mitchell's Plain and Khayelitsha. It is the largest psychiatric hospital in the country with 740 beds. Over the years, approximately 200 patients from Lentegeur Hospital have been placed with over 100 Rose Parent families. These families have opened their hearts and homes to a group of carefully selected and dischargeable patients, and do not receive any form of remuneration for their services.
The Rose Parent Project forms part of Lentegeur Hospital's psychiatric rehabilitation programme. The project has been functional shortly after the official opening of Lentegeur Hospital in 1987. Staff members perceived that there were patients who had recovered sufficiently to be discharged into community care, but, due to the loss and/or lack of suitable family resources, had to remain in-patients in hospital care.
The idea of providing "foster care" was then conceived. Churches, schools and community organisations were contacted to explore options for alternative community-based care. Following this, the Rose Parent Foster Care Project was launched, taking its name from the continental custom of presenting a single rose to a special person.
The Rose Parent Project is therefore a community-based family "foster care" project, providing a living option for institutionalised psychiatric and intellectually disabled clients. This unique project is administered by the social workers at Lentegeur Hospital. Every year, a function is arranged as an encouragement to and as an expression of appreciation towards the "foster" parents (Rose Parents).
The Rose Parents (foster parents) do not receive any form of remuneration for their services. The patients usually receive disability grants, which are administered by the Rose Parents. The grant has to cover all costs involved in the care, support and expenses of patients living in Rose Parent care.
The Rose Parent Project is an integral part of Lentegeur Hospital's services and is instrumental in the psychiatric rehabilitation and deinstitutionalisation process. It is the only hospital programme offering a direct community aftercare and support service to maintain community integration. This serves a vital function in light of the fact that community placements are often very scarce, particularly in and around the Mitchell's Plain area.