Provision of psychosocial care and protection services by home and community based care and support organisations.
Gumede, Zamanguni Genevieve.
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Providing adequate care and support for OVC continues to be a significant challenge in South Africa. For the province of KwaZulu-Natal, the situation is even worse, with this province remaining the highest in HIV prevalence and incidence. Several initiatives have been undertaken to provide psychosocial support to orphaned and vulnerable children, including education, food, shelter, and counselling. This research study aimed to document what psychosocial care and support services are being provided to orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC) by home and community-based care and support organisations in the EThekwini Metro. The intention was to generate practical information that could be used to improve delivery of these services to OVC. Underpinned by a qualitative approach and descriptive design, the study utilised semi-structured, in-depth interviews to obtain data from a sample of two HCBC organisations in both urban and semi-rural settings. The two HCBC centres covered in this research have one common goal, and that is to provide care and support to OVC. Generally,caregivers in both HCBC organisations understood necessary PSS requirements, although low skills levels negated this. In respect of the psychosocial care and support programmes delivered, both organisations use innovative, low-cost methods, such as partnerships and resource sharing to deliver PSS services to OVC. Key challenges hindering the delivery of these services include a shortage of skills, financial constraints, and lack of cooperation from participating Departments. The critical needs of OVC were, among others, primary child care, protection against abuse, documentation, support, and nutrition. Overall, provision of psychosocial care and protection services to OVC in the participating HCBC organisations was relatively stable despite the lack of resources. The study makes some recommendations for practice, policy, and further research.