Child-headed households in South Africa: What we know and what we don't
Household structures in many countries in Africa have been drastically changed by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Traditionally, orphans were absorbed by members of the extended family but today this safety net no longer works so well and many children are left to fend for themselves. The South African Government recognises the problem, but views differ on the effectiveness of the programmes for assisting these children. This article looks at what is known and what needs further research. It is known that child-headed households do exist in South Africa and that children living in these households are vulnerable. What is not known is the prevalence of these households and how to deal with the children's psycho-social problems. The article argues that the definition of child-headed households needs to be refined if we are to understand the extent of the problem. This will facilitate assessment of the programmes established for these children.
Volume (Year): 29 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
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