Highly Vulnerable Children Research Center

Childline Mpumalanga. A Community Development Program for Orphans and Vulnerable Children and Psychosocial Support Program for All Children: Mpumalanga Province, South Africa

This case study documents the activities and services of one program, Childline Mpumalanga, working to address the needs of orphaned and vulnerable children, their families and communities. Since its inception in 2003, Childline Mpumalanga has sought to prevent child abuse and protect and promote the welfare of all children throughout Mpumalanga province. The program operates two major components, psychosocial support and OVC community development, in a collaborative approach designed to reach all children and families in Mpumalanga with essential services while also providing specially targeted programming for the most vulnerable children.

The program’s psychosocial support activities include the operation of a toll-free Crisis Line for counseling and referrals, group and individual counseling provided by Social Workers, early childhood development (ECD) training for crèche teachers, and Life Skills and School Awareness initiatives. The OVC Community Development Program provides care and support to children and their families through home visits by trained Care Workers who offer direct support and linkages to an array of services for food and nutritional support, shelter, child protection, healthcare, HIV prevention, psychosocial care, educational support, and economic strengthening. In addition, children and their parents or guardians are able to participate in group and individual therapy designed to meet their unique needs.

Childline Mpumalanga’s successes – improving access to psychosocial care for all children, extensive mobilization of community resources, and offering services for child abuse prevention and early intervention, are innovations that can be modeled by other programs. The program’s challenges, such as a lack of resources for program scale-up, suggest directions for future improvement. At the end of the report, the authors discuss Childline Mpumalanga’s vision for program expansion and a response to the heightened need for local child protection programs during the 2010 World Cup.

The past decade has seen an increase in resource mobilization towards interventions for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in southern Africa, but there has been relatively little research documenting the effectiveness of the interventions. This series of case studies aim to contribute to the knowledge base on OVC programming by documenting the activities of various organizations and initiatives working to improve the lives of OVC.  These organizations all receive financial support from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).  These case studies were made possible by financial support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Southern Africa, as part of the Enhancing Strategic Information (ESI) project implemented by John Snow Incorporated (JSI) in collaboration with Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (TSPH). Information gathering activities took place in 2009 and 2011 and included document review, site visits, key informant interviews and focus group discussions.


Suggested Citation: Yu, S., Taylor, T.M., & Thurman, T.R. (2009). A Case Study: Childline Mpumalanga. A Community Development Program for Orphans and Vulnerable Children and Psychosocial Support Program for All Children: Mpumalanga Province, South Africa. New Orleans, LA: Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Department of International Health and Development.

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 Additional Case Studies of South African programs using a similar format available here: http://www.cpc.unc.edu/measure/about/program-areas/ovc/ovc-program-case-studies/ovc-case-studies-sa