Living with someone who is chronically ill impacts children’s wellbeing in a number of ways and can exacerbate vulnerability.  Programs for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) have responded by expanding their enrollment to include children living with sick parents or caregivers, regardless of orphan status. However, relatively little is known about these children’s experiences, and thus about how best to design and implement effective responses. 

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This report provides an overview of study methodology and sample characteristics for a study designed to develop critical knowledge on “what works” to improve the well-being of highly vulnerable children (HVC). The study is a longitudinal assessment of several program models — specifically, the National Association of Child Care Workers (NACCW), Heartbeat International, Tswelopele Initiative, Children in Distress Network (CINDI) and their community-based partners — with emphasis on common intervention strategies for providing support to children who have been orphaned or otherwise affected by HIV in South Africa.

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