Original Research

Challenges of caregivers providing care to children with disabilities at non-governmental organisations in Tshwane townships, South Africa

Sharifa Moosa-Tayob, Patrone R. Risenga
African Journal of Disability | Vol 11 | a930 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v11i0.930 | © 2022 Sharifa Moosa-Tayob, Patrone R. Risenga | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 August 2021 | Published: 28 July 2022

About the author(s)

Sharifa Moosa-Tayob, Department of Health Studies, College of Human Sciences, School of Social Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa; and Department of Occupational Therapy, School of Health Care Sciences, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa
Patrone R. Risenga, Department of Health Studies, College of Human Sciences, School of Social Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Abstract

Background: Caregivers of children with disabilities are vital stakeholders when it comes to safeguarding the health, well-being and overall survival of the children that they care for. Caregivers, however, face many challenging conditions that make it difficult for them to optimally fulfil their caregiving role. Understanding these challenges is crucial for developing empowerment programmes for caregivers, which will ensure that children with disabilities receive comprehensive, optimal care and that caregivers experience a good quality of life.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore and describe the experiences of caregivers providing care to children with disabilities at non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in townships of Tshwane, South Africa.

Method: This study followed an exploratory, descriptive and contextual research design within a qualitative methodology. The population in this study included caregivers who care for children with disabilities at NGOs (n = 10). Participants for the study were selected using the purposive sampling technique. Data were collected by conducting semistructured interviews with caregivers. Data were analysed according to the six phases of thematic analysis proposed by.

Results: The study revealed six themes that represent the challenges experienced by caregivers, namely (1) initial impressions, (2) rendering care, (3) stress, (4) lack of outside support, (5) coping and (6) poor community recognition.

Conclusion: Support from the Departments of Health and Social Development and other institutions providing community rehabilitation services to townships should be provided to caregivers in order to empower them with skills and knowledge to effectively address the challenges they face so that they can render optimal care to the children they care for.

Contribution: Results of this study could assist in ensuring improved recognition, resilience and supportive resources for caregivers in collaboration with community based rehabilitation stakeholders in the community that would ultimately lead to improved care for children with disabilities in townships within South Africa.


Keywords

non-governmental organisations; caregivers; children with disabilities; caregiver challenges; Tshwane townships.

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