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An evaluation of a psychosocial support intervention for vulnerable children

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dc.contributor.advisor Thwala, J.D.
dc.contributor.author Thembela, Lungile Prudence.
dc.date.accessioned 2010-07-22T09:08:23Z
dc.date.available 2010-07-22T09:08:23Z
dc.date.issued 2007
dc.identifier.other 311603
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10530/358
dc.description Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of PhD in Community Psychology in the Department of Psychology, University of Zululand, 2007. en_US
dc.description.abstract This study evaluates two psychosocial support intervention programmes for vulnerable children. Psychosocial support intervention programmes are geared towards strengthening of participation, intergration and cooperation between members of the community. The present study follows upon recommendations by Killian (2003) that more research needed to be done on the effectiveness of psychosocial intervention programmes on vulnerable children. It falls within the framework of a person-centred approach towards primary prevention. This research thesis aimed to explore the community volunteers' experiences on the impact and effectiveness of the psychosocial intervention programmes on vulnerable children. Twenty four community volunteers were interviewed for this research. Qualitative measures were utilized for data collection purposes. A standardized interview schedule, comprising four open-ended questions was used to elicit in-depth responses from the research participants. To test the appropriateness of the research questions, a pilot study was conducted on eight participants who had been sensitized on this programme and also formed part of the bigger research process. Data was analyzed using qualitative measures to elicit in-depth responses from the research participants. Based on the themes that emerged from the analyzed data, the evaluation process of these two intervention programmes yielded positive results, in terms of effectiveness and impact on the lives of vulnerable children in the communities. The thematic analysis of the collected interview data showed significantly that all the research participants appreciated the skills offered and learned from participating in the programme. They reported increased confidence in dealing with various psychosocial challenges faced by vulnerable children in their communities. A common theme that emerged in the present study both in the individual and group interviews, was the community volunteer's renewed sense of community participation, belonging and empowerment. From the research participants' responses, this study has managed to meet the aims and objectives of the training programme, to make people rich in their understanding of children who face adversity and difficult circumstances in their lives. Providing community members with a sensitization programme offering psychosocial support to vulnerable children, then becomes a sustainable, empowering and ongoing process for children affected by HIV/AIDS, poverty and violence. The main findings suggest that the community intervention programme offering psychosocial support for vulnerable children is effective and has had a positive impact on the community volunteers. In terms of values of the community psychology model, this evaluation is meaningful since it shows that community volunteers benefited from participating in this programme in an empowering way, while gaining valuable skills and disseminating knowledge to vulnerable children in their communities. This thesis offers suggestions for future research on vulnerable children with more emphasis on community poverty alleviation strategies. Finally, it concludes that community oriented programmes offering psychosocial support to children affected by HIV/AIDS, poverty and violence are appropriate and ideal interventions to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship National Research Foundation en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Social work with children--South Africa en_US
dc.subject Community-based family services--South Africa en_US
dc.subject Children of AIDS patients--South Africa--Psychological aspects en_US
dc.subject Children--South Africa--Psychological aspects en_US
dc.title An evaluation of a psychosocial support intervention for vulnerable children en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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