- 31/3/09: The Young Carers study is featurerd on the BBC World Service 'Health Link' on Monday 31 March, 2009. Tune in to hear more!

- 31/3/09: The Young Carers study is having a stakeholder consultation in a presentation at the South African AIDS Confernce 2009, at the ICC Conference Centre in Durban. This will be on Thursday 2nd April, 11am-12.30 in Hall 4 (Track 6, Community Exchange Encounters)

The majority of children and young people in sub-Saharan Africa have never known a world without HIV/AIDS. The social and economic impacts of the epidemic on current and future generations of children are only beginning to be understood. Significant international attention has focused on children orphaned by AIDS – estimated to be over one million in number in South Africa alone. However, millions more children are affected by parents living with AIDS illness, with this number growing every year. Their health and development may be affected by witnessing parental health decline and caring for sick family members.

Children caring for their AIDS-unwell parents are potentially at high risk for negative outcomes in mental and physical health, education and sexual health. This proposed study examines impacts of parental sickness and death for ‘young carers’ in South Africa. We will recruit community samples of children in some of the areas most affected by HIV in South Africa, and will use a longitudinal controlled design to (a) examine how their health and psychological outcomes unfold over time and (b) explore potential causal mechanisms of child well-being which can be ultimately be targeted for policy and program interventions.

This proposed study is a collaboration between Oxford University, NGOs, and the South African Government. Government dissemination has been established with the SA National Department of Social Development (Directorate of HIV/AIDS & Children’s Directorate) and the South Africa Department of Health, and the study has an established advisory role to the South African National Action Committee for Children Affected by AIDS (NACCA) . The findings of the study have direct and immediate relevance for designing targeted interventions for these vulnerable children.

Contact details:

Young Carers SA Project
Dept of Social Policy & Social Work
Oxford University, England OX1 2ER

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