An evaluation of a programmed intervention for caregivers of disadvantaged children with multiple disabilities.
Many people in South Africa are aware of the need for intervention and rehabilitation of disabled children. The lack of resources in the state healthcare system has necessitated a move towards capacity building and empowerment of community members to reduce the burden of responsibility on the healthcare system. Such engagement of community members in healthcare initiatives also has the potential of re-integrating disabled people back into society. The implementation of these strategies is undertaken largely by non-governmental organisations. One such NGO, the Child Development and Resource Centre (CORC) provides a service to children with multiple disabilities and their caregivers for whom no other resources are available. In attempting to increase the range of its impact on disabled people in Kwazulu-Natal, a training programme was developed to deal with the needs of the caregivers. The purpose of this study is to describe, evaluate and recommend changes of this nine module training course facilitated by the CDRC. The target population was the primary caregivers of disabled children living in peri-urban and rural areas and educare workers from non-profit organisations who were involved in service delivery to such families. The purpose of the training programme was to raise community awareness around disability, to sensitise and educate individuals to the needs of the disabled, and to empower caregivers in caring for disabled children in their communities. The CDRC training programme was subjected to on-going evaluation and monitoring throughout the entire process. Based on an action research model, programme evaluation was implemented and data was gathered from three sources: observation notes on each of the nine modules, evaluation forms completed by the participants, and focus group discussions with the participants.