Children's Institute

Switch to desktop

Completed Projects

Health and social services to address the needs of orphans and other vulnerable children in South Africa

In 2001 the Children's Institute was commissioned by the Department of Health to conduct research to inform an appropriate and co-ordinated national response to children experiencing orphanhood.

 

Built around a series of narratives, the research report documents and describes orphanhood as a process that begins long before the death of a child's caregiver, with differently compounded vulnerabilities at different points along this continuum. It illustrates how HIV/AIDS-related illness and death exacerbate existing household and service challenges, particularly in contexts of poverty.

The recommendations were grounded within legislation, policy and programmes that existed at that time, and highlighted the urgent need for a response that:

  • makes substantially more financial and professional resources available, ensuring the sustainability of the 'social safety net' over the full course of the pandemic;
  • strengthens and supplements existing support systems that identify and assist vulnerable children; and
  • is  grounded within a comprehensive national poverty reduction strategy.

Among other popular publications, the project produced three short booklets to publicise the research findings and recommendations. Two of the booklets are aimed at service providers, while the third targets a broader audience of organisations, companies and individuals who want to help children in their areas.

The project was funded by the National HIV/AIDS Directorate: Department of Health, with ongoing support from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

Further reading

Health and social services to address the needs of orphans and other vulnerable children in the context of HIV/AIDS - research report and recommendations
Giese S, Meintjes H, Croke R & Chamberlain R 2003
Report submitted to HIV/AIDS Directorate: Department of Health, January 2003.
Children's Institute, University of Cape Town and Department of Health, Pretoria.

Spinning the epidemic: The making of mythologies of orphanhood in the context of AIDS
Meintjies H & Giese G 2006
Childhood: A global journal of child research, 13((3), 407-430.

Addressing the impact of HIV/AIDS on children in South Africa - priorities for funders and development agencies
Meintjes H & Giese S, March 2004

Heroes of our time: Health workers helping children
Children's Institute 2005
A booklet aimed at health workers who want to help children in the times of HIV and AIDS.

Service providers working together to help children in the time of HIV and AIDS
Children's Institute 2005
A booklet aimed at teachers, health workers, home-based carers, community workers, volunteers and social workers.

Helping children in the time of HIV and AIDS
Children's Institute 2004
A booklet aimed at organisations, companies and individuals who want to help children in need.

Looking for signs of vulnerability
Giese S, Meintjes H, Croke R & Chamberlain R 2003
In: ChildrenFIRST, August/September 2003.

Children experiencing orphanhood - the role of the health sector
Giese S, Meintjes H, Croke R & Chamberlain R 2003
In: MCH News, Issue No. 20, August 2003.

Recommendations for health and social services to address the needs of orphans and other vulnerable children in the context of HIV/AIDS in SA
Giese S, Meintjes H, Croke R & Chamberlain R
Child and Youth Care Journal, 21(4), April 2003.

Copyright © 2012 Children's Institute, University of Cape Town

Top Desktop version