A social group work programme with adolescent orphans in foster care affected by HIV and AIDS : North West Province
Van der Westhuizen, Julita Elizabeth
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The objective of this study is to explore the impact of a social group work programme in the lives of adolescent orphans in foster care in the North–West province who are also affected by HIV and AIDS, and to enhance their social functioning. Keywords: Adolescent, foster care, foster parent, social work, social group work, empower, family, orphan, HIV and AIDS There are a growing number of children in need of care in South Africa who are placed with foster parents. The biggest reason for foster placement is due to the rising mortality rate of biological parents due to HIV and AIDS. Section A refers to the problem statement, research objectives, research procedures and research methodology. The limitations of the research are also investigated and the definitions of key words. The research was conducted in two phases. The needs assessment was conducted in phase one and the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the social group work programme in phase two. The problem statement in section A is based upon the following: It was found that insufficient research is being conducted on the problems and circumstances of adolescent orphans in South Africa. It is evident that the physical and emotional needs of adolescent orphans are not being fulfilled. The HIV and AIDS pandemic have a negative effect on the quality of daily life for orphans under foster care. The problem statement gave rise to five research aims. The overarching research design conformed to the Development and Utilization Research model. The model was divided into five phases that guided the research. The single–system design was used to gather quantitative and qualitative data. A literature study was conducted around the themes of foster care, foster parents, social group work, and circumstances of the foster care situation. Section B consists of the four articles that form the report on the research outcomes Each article is dealt with as a self–contained unit focusing on specific research objectives that were achieved via specific research methods. These methods were employed to collect the necessary data for the design and evaluation of the social group work programme. Article 1: The circumstances and needs of the adolescent orphan in foster care. The aim of this article is to identify the circumstances and needs through a self–designed and structured schedule. Thirty adolescent orphans in foster care from the researcher's case load were identified to take part in the research. Twenty adolescent orphans were selected by means of accidental sampling. Ten (N = 10) were selected for the experimental group and ten (N = 10) were selected for the control group. The results indicated the problems and needs experienced by adolescent orphans. These could be used for discussion during a social group work programme designed to provide knowledge, teach skills, and improve the social functioning of the group. Article 2: The role of the social worker during service delivery to adolescent orphans in foster care. The nature and extent of foster care in the North–West province was investigated by means of the completion of questionnaires. The role of the social worker regarding services to adolescent orphans in foster care was also investigated. A self–structured questionnaire was used for data collection purposes and 85 questionnaires were sent to social workers in the North–West province. The results show the state of existing programmes and the opinions of social workers on topics that could be included in a social group work programme. The data was used in Article 2. Article 3: A social work intervention programme for adolescent orphans in foster care. The programme was developed according to the data received from the 30 (N=30) adolescent orphans in foster care and the 85 (N=85) social workers in the North–West province. The programme was presented to 30 (N=30) adolescent orphans in foster care. Social group work was used as method to present the programme. The group gained knowledge and received skills training, both of which served to enhance their social functioning. Article 4: The evaluation of a social group work programme for adolescent orphans in foster care The purpose of this article is to evaluate the social group work programme. Three standardized measuring instruments were used. The Generalized Contentment Scale, the Index of Family Relations, and the Personal Self–esteem Profile were used. These instruments were used three times: once before intervention, once during intervention and once after intervention. The control group 10 (N=10) also completed the questionnaire three times but did not attend the social group. A self–developed questionnaire was completed before and after each session. A self–developed evaluation was completed after the final session to assess the effectiveness of the programme. Section C - Summary, conclusions and recommendations. Section D - contains the appendices with the results of the three standardized measuring instruments that were used for data collection. Section E - Contains the Bibliography.
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