Cash transfer programs hold significant potential to mitigate the economic burdens resulting from the HIV epidemic and enhance the wellbeing of affected children. South Africa offers two cash transfers designed specifically to benefit children: the Child Support Grant, for low income families with children, and the Foster Child Grant, for children living outside of parental care. Given the high proportion of HIV-affected children who qualify for these grants, increasing grant access among eligible families is a natural objective for many programs targeting orphans and vulnerable children.
HIV places acute stressors on affected children and families; especially in resource limited contexts like sub-Saharan Africa. Despite their importance, the epidemic’s potential consequences for family dynamics and children’s psychological health are understudied. Using a population-based sample of 2,487 caregivers and 3,423 children aged 8–14 years from the Central Province of Kenya, analyses were conducted to examine whether parental illness and loss were associated with family functioning and children’s externalizing behaviors.