At Vineyard Houses we actively avoid hyping up our work. We know it’s important and we see our efforts affecting the lives of our kids every day. We like to keep it simple. That being said our strategy of providing economically sustainable Foster Care incorporates several key elements.

  • To establish foster homes in the different suburbs in Stellenbosch, so that each community takes responsibility for their own orphans and vulnerable children (OVC’s).
  • Embracing the premise, and research proven benefit of the model of Cluster Foster Care
  • Individualized and coordinated Care Plans implemented for each foster child to ensure individual talents are cultivated and struggles are faced head-on to help create a future filled with hope.
  • A teamwork methodology to meeting the needs of our children, incorporating a multi-disciplinary approach facilitated by specialized partners to avoid redundancy.
  • Responsibility, Accountability and Fiscal Transparency allows sponsors and donors to give with confidence
  • Maximizing the contribution of volunteers from all walks of life to bring personalized expertise, skills, time, & resources which make a difference in the lives of individual children.

What is Cluster Foster Care?

Cluster Foster Care (also called Alternative Foster care) describes a model of care for children placed into state subsidized foster care. This model of care is the official placement of up to 6 children in a home-like setting where they are cared for by a stable primary caregiver.

Why embrace Cluster Foster Care?

Thankfully, in recent years there has been a radical shift in the care of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC’s).

In Cluster Foster Care the term “cluster” refers to a grouping of children within a Foster House. Long-term placements with a maximum of 6 children per house allow children to develop within a family-like structure. Siblings are always placed together and placements specifically include children of varied ages as in a ‘natural’ family. Foster Parents or Foster Moms are employed by a managing organization. Foster Parents or Foster Mom’s are specially trained and supported to provide high quality care for children coming from various difficult backgrounds.

Traditionally, when the state had children in need of Foster Care they placed them in large institutions where they were cared for en masse. Unfortunately, children suffer severe drawbacks both psychologically and socially with this approach. Within these institutionalized settings they can be handicapped psychologically by Attachment Disorders and socially by being ostracized and stigmatized, thus losing important community and cultural ties. In addition they often reach adulthood equipped with very few basic life skills, such as food preparation, household chores etc, making their transition into the world as adults even more difficult.

In wonderful contrast to institutionalization, Cluster Foster Care actively cares for children in a way which allows them to develop their unique potential. Having a team of professionals engaged in creating Individualized Care Plans allows a child’s needs to be assessed and a strategy for overcoming them designed. We are passionate that our children THRIVE.

For more information on how we ensure our children THRIVE, or to discover ways to get involved please contact us at or +27 (0) 72 660 1855. We’d love to hear from you!!

THRIVE – Transforming, Holistic, Realistic, Inspired, Volunteer-driven, Empowerment