An evaluation of the implementation of the national case management model for children orphaned as result of HIV and AIDS in Zimbabwe.
HIV and AIDS continues be a major challenge in Zimbabwe and a huge drawback to the country’s socio-economic development trajectory. Its impact is exacerbated by the protracted socio-economic and political crisis the country is experiencing. The study evaluates the implementation of the National Case Management Model, an intervention for children orphaned as a result of HIV and AIDS in Zimbabwe. Since inception in 2011, this model has not been evaluated despite current efforts to scale it nationwide. The study utilises a qualitative programme evaluation research design underpinned on the structural social work theory. It critically identifies and analyses the structure, roles of social workers, child caseworkers (CCWs), Lead CCWs, and process of the model. It observes that the model disproportionally vests specialised social work responsibilities to volunteer CCWs despite the fact that they have no social work training. The model experiences acute shortages of funding which adversely affects the length and quality of the training for CCWs and their remuneration. Due to lack of remuneration, the CCWs are demoralised. Despite the model playing a significant function in systematically identifying the orphans’ needs and facilitating referrals, the referred children are not accessing the desired services. This is because most of the social safety nets are operating below capacity. Equally important, service provision from Non-Government Organisations is low due to limited funding that is emanating from the sharp drop in global aid. The model largely generates demand and community expectations which are however unmet. The study recommends social workers to customize the model to suit the Zimbabwean context, advocate for social safety nets and operational costs funding and facilitate the standardisation and certification of CCWs training.