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