Psychosocial support for orphans and vulnerable children in public primary schools: Challenges and intervention strategies
Much has been written about orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) with regard to their education and living. However, relatively few studies have documented the psychosocial support provided for OVC in public primary schools to enhance their psychosocial well-being. This study therefore contributes to the understanding of the challenges experienced by teachers in providing psychosocial support for OVC and the possible intervention strategies that could be adopted to mitigate these challenges. Seven public primary schools from Soweto participated in the study, comprising 42 educators and 65 OVC in Grade Seven. Findings that emerged provide supporting evidence that minimal psychosocial support is offered, and it is marred by numerous challenges in public primary schools, including lack of professionals to provide guidance and counselling services, few teachers trained in life orientation, and a lack of support from parents/guardians for OVC. Based on the findings, several intervention strategies are presented.
Keywords: challenges; interventions; life orientation skills; orphans and vulnerable children; training
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