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The Roles of Social Workers and Community Volunteers in Providing Services to Foster Care Children Living with HIV in South Africa
This paper discusses the role of social workers and community volunteers in providing services to foster care children living with HIV in South Africa. A literature review was undertaken of 14 qualitative studies conducted in South Africa from 2012-2022. The review showed the prominent role played by social workers in foster care, despite factors which hindered service such as high caseloads, lack of knowledge on HIV and prioritisation of quantity over quality. Hence, several challenges were faced by foster carers.
The studies also revealed that community volunteers were providing services to children living with HIV through linking them to care and providing educational support. The literature shows that the challenges faced by foster care parents and their children mostly resulted of social workers’ inability to provide comprehensive services. Community volunteers offered services where social workers were constrained.
This paper concludes that social workers should work in collaboration with community volunteers to cater to the limitations facing the social work workforce in providing services to foster care parents and children living with HIV.