Over the past 10 years a diverse set of problems have been documented about the widespread use of the foster care system to provide financial assistance to the country’s increasing number of orphans, the majority of whom are living with relatives. Children’s Institute socio-legal research and consultations with government and practitioners are aimed at finding clarity and proposing solutions that are in the best interests of all affected children.
There is widespread concern that the numbers of children living in ’child-headed households’ are rapidly increasing as a result of AIDS-related adult mortality in much of sub-Saharan Africa. This systematic analysis of representative national surveys over the period 2000 – 2007 aimed to shed light on the extent to which this is the case in South Africa, and to examine the phenomenon in more detail.
The Care Dependency Grant Assessment tool pilot was a tendered project for the Department of Social Development. The primary aim was to field test a new tool for assessing children’s eligibility for the Care Dependency Grant (CDG), a social grant for children with long-term health conditions who have permanent care needs.
This project used ethnographic methods to explore in-depth the experiences of HIV-positive mothers and their infants, providing a full and careful description of the political, social, economic, cultural and moral context that affects the quality of their lives. The project aimed to inform policy and interventions made on behalf of such HIV-positive mothers and their infants.