This case study focuses on an innovative model of support for OVC program careworkers, Care for Caregivers (C4C). C4C operates as a service within the Isibindi service delivery program. The National Association of Child Care Workers (NACCW) implements Isibindi at 65 sites throughout South Africa, directing support to OVC and their families through a developmental child and youth care work response. The program partners with local organizations, recruiting and training a network of child and youth care workers (CYCWs) who conduct regular home visits to beneficiaries and oversee activities at Safe Parks and community gardens.
Believing that offering enhanced psychosocial support to CYCWs would prove critical to the program’s success, in 2007 NACCW facilitated the development of this innovative model, C4C. The model brings clinical psychologists directly to CYCWs for a six month program of professional psychosocial support through individual and group counseling. As of June 2009, 318 CYCWs at 23 Isibindi sites had taken part in the C4C program.
Identified strengths of the C4C program include implementation by clinically skilled persons external to the community, attention to reducing the stigma of mental health issues and HIV and AIDS, and a focus on improving team dynamics. Going forward, the program will need to increase funding, support scale-up, and implement more formal monitoring and evaluation systems. Specific priorities include building relationships between CYCWs and program leadership, incorporating gender focus into the program, and more effectively supporting the post-program continuation of C4C-type activities at sites. Finding ways to extend the psychosocial support model to beneficiaries would also be advantageous.
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: Thurman, T.R., Yu, S., & Taylor, T.M. (2009). A Case Study: Care for Caregivers. A Psychosocial Support Model for Child and Youth Care Workers Serving Orphans and Vulnerable Children in South Africa: A Program Implemented by the National Association of Child Care Workers. New Orleans, LA: Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Department of International Health and Development.