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John X Merriman Child and Youth Care Centre

John X Merriman Child and Youth Care Centre

Situated in East London (Eastern Cape) the John X Merriman Child and Youth Care Centre provides a place where young South Africans affected by crime can be safely accommodated and securely cared for. As outlined by National Policy, the centre’s multi-disciplinary team of qualified childcare professionals assist with the developmental rehabilitation of children in conflict with the law. Our goal is to help young people overcome their troubling past and look forward to a future filled with potential.

Image of a nurse attending to a child and art in motion

The Eastern Cape faces many specific challenges as a province when it comes to the involvement of the youth in crime. Some of the most detrimental obstacles to nurturing the next generation of successful citizens are unemployment, HIV and AIDS, poor education facilities and standards, as well as an overall insufficient infrastructure for youth development within the region. These setbacks may be countered by intervening in the lives of vulnerable youths, providing an alternative to crime in the form of:

  • Learning
  • Profession Advice
  • Skills, Instruction and Training

Facilities and Programmes

Acknowledging a need for secure care facilities in the area, the Department of Social Development identified John X Merriman as a potential haven of safety for young offenders. After undergoing renovations to extend its capacity from just 50 children, the facility has grown under Bosasa’s administration to provide a safe haven for 120 young people. Currently both boys and girls between the ages of 14 – 17 years reside here.

Following a holistic developmental strategy, students receive a combination of educational, vocational and therapeutic programmes. This enables them to come to terms with their histories and facilitates their road to recovery. Courses are aimed at harnessing the positive energy of students by engaging them in a variety of healthy endeavours. Intellectual pursuits are bolstered by sports, recreational and cultural activities. This approach allows them to not only reintegrate into society, but become well-rounded individuals and productive members of their communities.

Multi-Disciplinary Staff

Supervision is provided by a fully trained staff of nurses, doctors, social workers, occupational therapists, instructors, educators, child and youth care workers, psychiatrists and psychologists. The children’s complete physical, intellectual and emotional wellbeing is their utmost concern. Acting as a network, our staff ensures that every aspect of a child’s development guides him or her toward a goal of integrated personal development.

The aim is to develop the children’s positive attributes, preparing them with accredited skills that will better their lives. Education plays an imperative role in this process, which is why the instruction provided here has to be of the highest order. Like all Bosasa youth care facilities, John X Merriman is provisionally accredited by Umalusi; the Council for General and Further Education and training. We also ensure SETA accredited training and qualifications that are NQF aligned.

The John X Merriman Child and Youth Care Centre does more than just accommodate young people in trouble with the law. We offer the counselling of genuinely concerned, professional caregivers, and the promise of a new beginning to children who are challenged by their circumstances. Working together, we hope to change the lives of young people, and the future of South Africa, for good.

More info

Call the Bosasa reception desk on +27 (0)11 662 6000 or email  for more information.

Contact Us
  Send us an e-mail
    +27 11 662 6001
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