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Masters Degrees (Social work)

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    Exploring the experiences of men living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome at Okhahlamba Local Municipality.
    (2023) Nxumalo, Vuyisiwe.; Mazibuko, Ntombifikile Margaret.
    Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) has been a part of the world since 1981 when first its discovery was made. It can be argued that the virus has become a normal part of human life; however, is this argument valid in this day and age? This research study explored the experiences of men living with HIV/AIDS, paying particular attention to reasons that led to their HIV testing, disclosure of HIV status, the possible stigmatisation and marginalisation or positive response encountered; the social, emotional, or economic challenges met, and the coping mechanisms adopted post HIVpositive diagnosis. This study aimed to explore the experiences of men in Okhahlamba Local Municipality living with HIV/AIDS. Social constructionism and the ecosystems theory were adopted as theoretical frameworks to help understand and to reach the intended aim of the study. A nonprobability sample of fifteen men living with HIV/AIDS was selected by using purposive sampling for data collection. This study was a qualitative study − it employed the interpretive paradigm and an exploratory design. The data was collected using semi-structured interviews. The most apposite themes were identified and analysed using thematic analysis. The study revealed that the reaction of males to their seropositive status is similar to that of females; furthermore, the study noted that rejection and fear of stigmatisation results in delayed disclosure of HIV-positive status. Additionally, the study supported studies that alluded to a relationship between trust and disclosure. Conclusions and recommendations were drawn based on data collected from the study which show that there is still a need for increased HIV/AIDS education, consistent development of the skills of counsellors, and implementation of a multisectoral response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
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    Exploring the utilisation of Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) services in the Department of Transport KwaZulu-Natal: the perceptions of traffic officers.
    (2023) Zondi, Thobekile Mercy.; Sithole, Mbongeni Shadrack.
    Background It has been noted across the globe, especially in industrialised countries where many companies have invested in EAPs. Improving the conditions in a workplace remains on the agenda in most workplaces, including government. Sufficient literature and experts suggest that the relationship between employer and employee can be improved through Employee Assistance Programmes. The working conditions are such that traffic officers are exposed to trauma on the road. While stress is unavoidable, occupational stressors should be limited and support structures like EAP should be effective in equipping employees with coping mechanisms. The main concern in this study is that there is underutilisation of EAP services. Purpose The purpose of the study was mainly at exploring the perceptions of traffic officers on the utilisation of EAP services in the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport. The specific objectives involved the exploration of the perceptions of traffic officers on the relevance and the value of EAP services in promoting their occupational wellness; examining the traffic officers’ understanding of the EAP role in relation to their working conditions; examining the organisation’s strategies enabling the traffic officers in coping with occupational- related challenges and provision of recommendations for the implementation of the EAP in the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport. Methodology The study used the qualitative research approach. Data was collected from 28 traffic officers in the Department of Transport in Pietermaritzburg region. The sample was obtained using purposive sampling. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with a voice recorder, and the data was analysed through thematic analysis. Findings The findings of the study were presented in accordance with four main themes and the related subthemes. The themes are summarised as the shared knowledge of EAP, unconducive working conditions, self-created mechanism and contributions by employees. Recommendations Based on the findings, it is recommended that EAP should be marketed to enhance the utilisation and address the myth of the programme. Channels of communication should be available for traffic officers to talk about challenges they face on the road.
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    Understanding burnout amongst social workers in Masvingo, Zimbabwe.
    (2022) Zenda, Kumbirai Petronella.; Sewpaul, Vishanthie.
    Burnout has emerged as a concern among human service workers such as social workers, nurses and doctors. This study was designed to understand burnout amongst social workers in Masvingo, Zimbabwe. This research was motivated by inadequate information regarding burnout amongst social workers, unlike other professions such as teachers. This study contributes to filling the knowledge gap about burnout amongst social workers. The study was designed to understand social workers’ experiences of burnout; factors that contribute to burnout; the coping strategies which social workers can use to cope with burnout; and strategies to prevent burnout. Literature was drawn from the macro-economic contexts of neoliberalism and new public management since they have a direct impact on social welfare organisations and on the psycho-social functioning of social workers on a day-to-day basis. The study was framed by the job demands resource model of burnout and ecological-systems theory. The job demands resource model was crucial in explaining the development of burnout that is through excessive job demands, and lack of availability of resources. The ecological-systems theory was also appropriate because I wanted to understand how social workers experience burnout and this theory helps to understand burnout from multi-systemic levels. A qualitative research method was used. In-depth interviews were conducted with fifteen participants from three non-governmental organisations with five participants from organisation C, four from organisation B and six from organisation A. The interviews were conducted during the Covid-19 pandemic, hence the regulations which were put in place by the government were maintained. Due to this pandemic some of the interview sessions were diverted to individual zoom calls. With the participants’ permission, the sessions were tape-recorded. The material was analysed according to the descriptive research design. The themes that emerged related to factors that predispose social workers to burnout, which include: high workload, the influence of Covid-19, lack of resources and lack of organisational support, and top-down bureaucratic supervision that minimised autonomy on the job. The study concluded that high workload was the major factor which exposed social workers to burnout. Self-care measures and social support strategies emerged as burnout coping strategies that social workers can utilise. Based on the study findings appropriate recommendations are made at personal, organisational and political levels to deal with the effects of burnout and to prevent burnout. Recommendations for further research are also made.
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    Exploring health social work practitioners' experiences in working with health practitioners within a multidisciplinary healthcare setting.
    (2021) Maxhakana, Zama Immaculate.; Sithole, Mbongeni Shadrack.
    This article explores how social work practitioners work with health practitioners within a multidisciplinary team. This was a moment for health social work practitioners to deliberate about themselves regarding their experiences in working with health practitioners. The research focused on how health professionals work, communicate, and learn together. The research is vital in attempting to comprehend social workers' encounters in working with health professionals, the understanding of their roles and the professional boundaries in the multidisciplinary team. The literature revealed that social workers are frequently identified as non-essential experts in this host setting, where professional competence, control, including respect remain centred around doctors. The qualitative research approach consisting of the combination of an exploratory and descriptive research design was adopted for this study. A purposeful sampling technique was used to select the participants from health facilities who fall under the King Cetshwayo Health District Forum. Study permission was granted by the District Manager and the ethical permission was secured from the Provincial Health Research and Ethics Committee and the Humanities and Social Sciences Research Ethics Committee, respectively. Semi-structured telephonic interviews were held with 16 participants. All the participants were full-time public health employees and were mostly females. The interview schedule was piloted with three participants who then gave feedback regarding the questions. The data was analysed using thematic analysis and three themes emerged from this process. The three main themes can be summarised as professional power dynamics, a lack of collaborative efforts, and a lack of understanding of the social work profession. The study concluded that social work practitioners perceived the overall collaboration as positive. However, concerns were raised regarding the existence of power dynamics that hindered collaboration.
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    Exploring employees’ perceptions and understandings of mental illness in the workplace: a case study of employees of eThekwini Municipality.
    (2021) Dudeni, Nokuzola S'Phiwe Sindisiwe.; Zibane, Sibonsile Zerurcia.
    This study explored EThekwini municipality employees’ perceptions and understanding of mental illnesses in the workplace. Furthermore, the researcher wanted to understand the ways in which support for mental illnesses or mental health related issues is provided. This study aimed to uncover employees’ perceptions, knowledge, and beliefs about mental illness. The study draws from the belief that mental health issues are stigmatised and poorly addressed in the workplace due to a lack of knowledge. This impacts on the wellbeing and recovery of mental health sufferers, thus, negatively impacting on productivity and job security. The study adopted a qualitative research design positioned within the interpretivist paradigm. Purposive and snowballing sampling methods were used to select eighteen participants. Data was collected using a semi-structured interview guide from a sample of eighteen participants in the EThekwini municipality Water and Sanitation department (EWS). Data were analysed using the thematic content analysis. The research findings established that mental illnesses are caused by psychosocial problems and certain beliefs about life in general. Importantly, the study revealed that mental illness is prevalent among female employees at the EThekwini municipality Water and Sanitation department. Additionally, the findings suggest that the provision of constructive guidance and support to all the EWS employees with mental illnesses will aid in addressing mental illnesses at EWS. EThekwini municipality needs to create programmes and policies that will educate and normalise mental illnesses in the workplace to reduce stigma. This will be achieved by improved and sustained communication and collaboration at an organisational and managerial level between all EWS employees, EWS management and the social worker.
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    The relationship between depression, HIV stigma and adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) among adult patients living with HIV at a tertiary hospital in Durban, South Africa: the mediating roles of self-efficacy and social support.
    (2021) Luthuli, Muziwandile Qiniso.; John-Langba, Johannes.
    Although, numerous factors predicting adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) have been broadly studied on both regional and global level, up-to-date adherence of patients to ART remains an overarching, dynamic and multifaceted problem that needs to be investigated overtime and across various contexts. There is a rarity of empirical data in the literature on interactive mechanisms by which psychosocial factors influence adherence to ART among PLWHA within the South African context. Therefore, this study was, designed to investigate the relationship between depression, HIV stigma and adherence to ART among adult patients living with HIV at a tertiary hospital in Durban, South Africa and the mediating roles of self-efficacy and social support. The Health Locus of Control Theory and the Social Support Theory were the underlying theoretical frameworks for this study. Using a cross-sectional research design, a total of 201 male and female adult patients aged between 18-75 years receiving ART at a tertiary hospital in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal were sampled, using time location sampling (TLS). A self-administered questionnaire was employed to collect the data in this study. Data were analysed through SPSS version 27. Several statistical analyses were conducted in this study, namely univariate statistical analysis, correlational analysis, Pearson’s chi-square analysis, cross-tabulation analysis, binary logistic regression analysis, and mediational analysis. Univariate analysis indicated that the sample mean age was 39.28 years (SD=12.115), while most participants were females 71.0% (n=142), never married 74.2% (n=147) and most were also secondary school educated 48.3% (n=97), as well as unemployed 65.7% (n=132). The prevalence rate of participants had high adherence to ART was 53.7% (n=108), and 46.3% (n=93) of participants had low adherence to ART. Chi-square analysis revealed that employment status was the only statistically significant socio-demographic influence of adherence to ART in this study (χ2 (3) = 8.745; p < .033). Chi-square analysis showed that there was a statistically significant difference found between depression and adherence to ART (χ2 (4) = 16.140; p < .003), while between HIV stigma and adherence to ART no statistically significant difference was found (χ2 (1) = .323; p >.570). Binary logistic regression indicated that depression was statistically associated with adherence to ART (OR= .853; 95% CI, .789–.922, P<001), while the association between self-efficacy and adherence to ART was statistically significant (OR= 1.04; 95% CI, 1.001– 1.078, P<.045) after controlling for the effect of depression. However, the findings showed that the effect of depression on adherence to ART was not significantly mediated by self-efficacy (Sobel test for indirect effect, Z= 1.01, P> 0.31). Binary logistic regression showed that, the effect of HIV stigma on adherence to ART was not statistically significant (OR= .980; 95% CI, .937– 1.025, P>.374), but the effect of social support on adherence to ART was statistically significant, only after the effect of HIV stigma was controlled for (OR= 1.017; 95% CI, 1.000– 1.035, P<.046). This study promotes behavioral and social change effected through evidence-based interventions by emphasizing the need for additional research that investigates the interactive mechanisms by which psychosocial factors influence adherence to ART. Depression is a significant predictor of adherence to ART. Thus, to alleviate the psychosocial impact of depression on adherence to ART, effective interventions must be devised, along with a special consideration of self-efficacy and social support. Therefore, this study is helpful in informing and effecting change in health policy, and healthcare services through its findings.
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    “Sihlukumezekile”: the elderly talk of their experiences of elder vulnerability in KwaSwayimani area.
    (2019) Mosoeu, Ramosa Joseph.; Zengele, Patricia Bongi.
    Background: The problem of elder abuse is undeniable and can be found everywhere in the world including South Africa and the Province of KwaZulu-Natal. Robinson (2016) asserts that in the United States alone, more than half a million reports of vulnerabilities that predispose the elderly to abuse reach authorities every year, and millions of more cases go unreported. Rationale of the study: The rationale of the study is to explore and understand vulnerabilities faced by elderly women in KwaSwayimane Area under Umshwathi Local Municipality where 7 elderly women were raped and assaulted, and the 4 elderly women robbed and murdered during the year 2013. Research methodology: A qualitative descriptive design was adopted in this study. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews and analyzed using thematic analysis from a purposive sample of 09 elderly women attending KwaSwayimane Day Care Centre. Results: The results indicated that vulnerabilities that predispose the elderly to abuse are prevalent amongst elderly women especially those who are widowed, living alone, in isolation, and illiterate. The study finding also revealed that the most common vulnerability was as a result of criminal attacks such as housebreakings mostly during pension pay days to steal and rob the elderly of their pension monies and other belongings. The results also showed that financial exploitation by close family members occurred in the home environment where elderly women with their meagre pensions had to take care of their family members such as their unemployed adult children and the grandchildren. Lastly, the results showed that the elderly need various and prompt inter-departmental interventions in-order to make their situation better. Recommendations: This study recommends a multidisciplinary approach to elder care and management in line with the KZN Premier’s Operation Sukuma Sakhe Programme which co-ordinates the delivery of governmental integrated services to communities. It also recommends further research that would explore elder vulnerability as it occurs in the community. The study recommends social work curriculum to include a detailed gerontology syllabus since there is a fast-growing number the elderly in our society who need special social work care.
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    An explorative study of the experiences of social workers in providing therapeutic services to children in child and youth care centres in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
    (2020) Ziyambi, Talent.; John-Langba, Johannes.
    Child and youth care centres (CYCCs) should be applauded for accommodating and providing services for vulnerable children who need care and protection in South Africa. The residential and statutory social workers work together in providing services to restore the well-being of the children placed in CYCCs as mandated by the Children’s Act (Children’s Act, 2005). Section 155 and 158 of the Act orders the investigation of the circumstances of children and their placement into CYCCs, whilst section 156 and 159 of the Act mandates the social workers to supervise and offer reunification services to these children (Children’s Act, 2005). Residential social workers work to restore the well-being of the children placed under their care in child and youth care centres through providing counselling, therapy and facilitating different programmes. It is therefore important to acknowledge the importance of the provision of therapeutic services by these social workers. This qualitative study explored the experiences of social workers in providing therapeutic services to vulnerable children who are placed in CYCCs. The sample consisted of 15 participants and semi-structured interviews were used to collect data. The social support and general systems theory were the two theoretical approaches that informed this study, whilst social constructivism was the key conceptual framework. Four key themes distilled from the interviews with each group of social workers. The results revealed that statutory and residential social workers were not cooperating with each other in the provision of services. The statutory social workers failed to provide adequate assessment, supervision and reunification services due to lack of skills, high caseloads, lack of resources and resistance in communities. Residential social workers found behavioural and sexual abuse cases difficult to address due to lack of skills. This study concluded that the Department of social development should provide capacity building for social workers to improve their skills, resources and establish strong supervisory and monitoring strategies to improve cooperation between the social workers. The Department of social development should also review the preventative strategies imbedded in the Integrated services delivery model (ISDM).
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    Exploring re-alignment of social welfare services as an enhancement of service delivery at municipal levels: a case study of uMgungundlovu District Municipality.
    (2019) Buthelezi, Mbongeleni William.; Sithole, Mbongeni Shadrack.
    This study aims at exploring the social workers’ understanding of the re-alignment of social welfare services as an enhancement of service delivery at the local municipal level. The study was undertaken in both rural and urban areas of Midlands, a part of the KwaZulu-Natal Province, under uMgungundlovu District Municipality, specifically at Impendle, Mkhambathini, Msunduzi and Howick service offices. The qualitative approach was applied for its use of the case study design and its descriptive nature. The purposive sampling method was used to select twelve social workers comprising ten females and two males. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews that were audio-recorded. The thematic analysis approach was used to analyse the data transcribed from the interviews. The theoretical framework that guided this study drew from the Structural Social Work Theory. The findings of this study, in relation to the objectives of the study, revealed that the interviewed social workers understood the crises that were created by the Apartheid regime. These involve the segregation of the majority of Black South Africans, depriving them of the basic services and the means of economic production and as such, the establishment of the re-alignment process sought to redress those social imbalances and injustices. The social workers who participated in the study reported the huge success made by the State, with the Department of Social Development responsible for enhancement of the citizenry’s access to social services as well as fostering the community’s awareness of the available services. The participants reported experiencing some challenges concerning supervision, reports demands and shortage of resources. Furthermore, an ineffective communication approach as well as social workers’ exclusion from the decision–making process reportedly posed challenges to the current welfare system in South Africa. Lastly, and on a positive note, the social workers found the pieces of legislation and policies put in place by the State as assisting them to continue adapting to the process of re-alignment. The recommendations regarding the strengthening and enhancement of service delivery at the local municipal level were made.
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    The lived experiences of Zimbabwean migrants raising children under conditions of irregularity in South Africa.
    (2018) Mpofu, Sheron.; Holscher, Dorothee.
    This study explored the lived experiences of Zimbabwean migrants parenting under conditions of irregularity in South Africa and the role of social work in the lives of irregular migrant parents. The concerns that prompted this research were a gap in South African literature on social work with migrants and general gap in literature on the parenting experiences of irregular migrants worldwide. This was considered to be a problem because of social work's concern with the well-being of children, and because of its responsibility towards migrants. Thus, the study aimed to contribute to filling the knowledge gaps that currently exist in the field. The theoretical framework of the study was constructed using a number of concepts from anti-oppressive social work theory and practice, including misframing, social group identity, oppression and internalised oppression. Purposive sampling was used to select participants for this study, and snowball sampling to access them. Ten Zimbabwean citizens agreed to participate. All ten had lived in South Africa as irregular migrants for a period of between one and six years, having raised children with ages ranging from birth to sixteen years. Six participants from the sample were Ndebele speakers and four Shona speakers; three male and seven female; three were employed as domestic workers, four general hands; one a waitress and one unemployed. Data was collected using semi-structured individual interviews for six individual participants and semi-structured couple interviews for the two couples and thereafter analsyed using thematic content analysis. The study observed the University of KwaZulu Natal ethical requirements. Trustworthiness for the study was ensured through credibility; transferability; dependability and confirmability. The study revealed that irregular Zimbabwean migrant parents had been pushed to migrate from their country because of the negative economic, social and political conditions in Zimbabwe. They migrated and opted to live under conditions of irregularity with their children in the hope that the children would have a better life in South Africa. Contrary to their expectations, they faced multiple challenges in parenting. Participants lived an ‘invisible life’ hiding from detection. When it came to parental responsibilities and tasks, they tended to prioritise basic needs, education and medical care. In spite of being entitled in law, their children were generally excluded from accessing schools and sometimes from hospitals. Parents found a range of solutions to these challenges but also experienced high levels of stress and showed signs of trauma. Participants experienced some successes that they were proud of, which were mainly when they were able to integrate into South African society. Still, the participants’ lived experiences were mainly characterised by broken dreams and disappointments. Participants faced all these challenges without any help from social workers. This is even though social work with migrants is an established field of services and in spite of social work’s commitment to human rights and social justice, and the well-being of all children. Based on these findings, a number of recommendations are made towards social work at the macro, meso and micro levels of practice, social work education and further research. These recommendations focus on increasing the inclusion of irregular migrant children, countering any abuses of human rights in the field of migration, enhancing social work’s visibility in migrant communities, strengthening the profession’s commitment to human rights, social justice and anti-oppression, and further increasing social work knowledge in this field.
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    Factors influencing women’s parenting practices : a study of three different family structures in Selebi Phikwe, Botswana.
    (2019) Ntshwarang, Poloko Nuggert.; Sewpaul, Vishanthie.
    The majority of women in Botswana continue to be primary parenting players despite research findings that, compared with men, women in the country are more impoverished, are prone to abuse, and that their rate of participation in decision making processes is limited. Taking into account the foregoing, and without disregard for the importance of men in parenting, this research examined factors that influenced women’s parenting practices within female headed families (FHF), dual career families (DCF) and families where the women were unemployed and their partners or spouses were employed (FWUPE). The study was informed by the qualitative-phenomenological paradigm, underscored by critical theory, with an emphasis on intersectionality as the conceptual framework. Snowball and purposive sampling strategies were used to access 24 participants, eight from each of the family structures. In depth face-to-face interviews, genograms and eco-maps were used to explore, understand and describe women’s parenting practices as well as the factors that expedited or hindered positive parenting practices. I identify my own subject location as a researcher, educator and mother within the political and cultural context of Botswana, my taken-forgranted assumptions about parenting, and the reflexive strategies that I used to guard against my biases and to challenge my assumptions an approach that underlines the salience of critical theory. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. The findings of the study indicated that rather than family structure per se, it was structural factors like education and socio-economic status that intersected to influence some parenting practices. The women’s narratives reflected that dominant cultural constructions of motherhood and fatherhood, and legislation entrenches the more peripheral role of men in childrearing. Given the premium placed on parental authority and power over children, and that the law and culture in Botswana coalesce to support corporal punishment (CP), it was not surprising that authoritarianism characterized most parenting practices, and that CP was widely used. Based on the study findings, recommendations are made in relation to social work education and training, practice, policy and research, with an emphasis on contesting discriminatory cultural practices and legislation so as to enhance family functioning, promote de-gendered positive parenting practices and gender equality, and to ensure the best interests of children.
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    An explorative study of the construction of fatherhood in South Africa: the case of unmarried black African parents in eThekwini Municipality, KZN.
    (2019) Khanyile, Wiseman Mlondolozi.; John-Langba, Johannes.
    South Africa has a high number of absent fathers especially among unmarried black African parents who live apart. A number of factors have been found to have contributed to this phenomenon including apartheid policies such as the migrant labour and pass laws. These policies have without any doubt impacted on family structure as it is known. In addition, legislation which did not give any unmarried fathers automatic responsibilities and rights in respect of their children may have contributed towards the rate of absentee fathers. Although with the introduction of the new Children’s Act which now provides for automatic responsibilities and rights for unmarried fathers who meet certain criteria, the White paper on families which further encourages father involvement into the life of the child, there is still a lot that needs to be done to address the phenomenon of father absence. These policies have the potential to significantly influence father-child relationships. However, it is crucial that further research is devoted to conceptions of fatherhood and causes of father absence, in order to further understand the dynamics of the phenomenon from different contexts. This study focuses on exploring factors contributing to absentee fathers among unmarried black African parents living apart who reside within the Ethekwini Municipality in KwaZulu Natal (South Africa). A qualitative interpretive approach was used. Thirty (30) participants who reside in Ward 1 and Ward 6 under Ethekwini municipality were be selected using purposive sampling technique. In addition, 4 key informants including traditional authorities and elderly were also selected from both wards. Semi-structured interviews and focus group interviews were both used to collect data from the sample and the analysis was done using thematic analysis. Findings indicate that most fathers in the study have interest of being involved in the upbringing of their children, however they are denied that right due to economic factors as the definition of a father is closely associated with financial provision. It became clear that most parents still define or understand the role of a father as that of providing for the child. This is further complicated by the understanding of fatherhood as closely linked to masculinity which is found in the community. For most participants, child rearing is closely associated with femininity and engaging in such activities does not make one a “real men” in the eyes of the community. Amongst other factors that contributes to absent fatherhood, the study found that the payment of intlawulo to the maternal family still also plays a role in how much access the father has to the child. This cultural practice makes the maternal family the primary custodians of the child and gives them the power to make decision about things pertaining to the child without involving the father. The study also found that the construction of fatherhood is also linked to the parent’s experience of fatherhood with his or her own father during childhood. Having a father who was absent while growing up, a father who only played the role of a financial provider or a father who was involved, for most participants, influenced their understanding of fatherhood. Based on the findings, the researcher recommends that more community awareness are to be done in the communities as most fathers are unaware of their rights and the fact that they have the right to access their children. Section 21 of the children’s Act makes such provisions. Secondly, the development of community based programmes that address the issues of masculinity versus femininity as well as fatherhood. Keywords: fatherhood, absentee father, parent, unmarried parent, child, child care, meaningful parenting and masculinity
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    Parenting their children : the experiences of young women at Kwa-Makhutha township in Kwazulu-Natal.
    (2019) Mavundla, Penelop Sibonelo.; Seepamore, Boitumelo Khothatso.
    Globally, studies have shown higher fertility rate amongst young women compared to other age groups. The challenges of early parenthood often have negative consequences for young women, including disappointment from parents, financial challenges and having to negotiate life tasks with a young dependent. The aim of this study was to understand the factors influencing parenting among young women in KwaMakhutha Township. The study used a social constructivism approach to understand the meaning participants attach to their experiences of early motherhood. This qualitative study included 21 young mothers selected through a snowball sampling technique. Data were collected through individual interviews, and permission was obtained from participants to record these interviews, which were later transcribed and translated from IsiZulu into English. I used thematic data analysis and the findings of the study showed that young mothers face many challenges, but these also helped the participants to grow and be responsible for their children. Some participants reported undesirable experiences including financial challenges, rejection by family and fathers of the children and the need to earn a living in order to support themselves and their children. Those who had some positive experience expressed personal growth and an increased sense of responsibility. The absence of fathers in the care of children was a conspicuous outcome as these young fathers either reported to have denied responsibility for the parenting or being incapable of financially supporting their children. As a result, young mothers were left to take full responsibility for the financial, physical and emotional needs of their children. None of the participants would recommend early motherhood to other young women. This insight can be considered by government and other relevant stakeholders to develop youth-friendly healthcare facilities, specifically in the provision of reproductive health and rights services to adolescent girls and young women. This study therefore concludes that it is challenging for young women to raise their child without full support of their partners or primary care givers. Although the child support grant is financially helpful, this study identified a great need for psychosocial support services in the prevention of early parenthood amongst adolescent girls and young women, support to young mothers and their families, and the implementation of policies and programs that support young mothers who bear the burden of raising the children alone.
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    Implementation of diversion services for young offenders within the Emnambithi/Ladysmith Municipal area : the experiences and perceptions of key role-players.
    (2017) Mzinyane, Bongane Morris.; Matthias, Carmel Rose.; Mthembu-Mhlongo, Maude Nombulelo.
    Abstract available in PDF file.
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    Understanding sexuality of persons with disability in residential facilities in Gauteng, South Africa : perceptions of service providers and people with disabilities.
    (2017) Muswera, Tapiwa Antoinette.; Kasiram, Madhubala Ishver.; Holscher, Dorothee.
    This study explored the realities of people with disabilities living in institutions in Gauteng, South Africa. The study focused on perspectives of service providers and people with disabilities. There is limited research on sexuality and disability from a South African perspective, which this study aimed to redress. The goal of the study was to explore sexuality as a form of pleasure and expression of love, for people with disabilities via qualitative research. Anti-Oppressive theory was the framework used to provide a broader understanding of sexuality and disability. The target sample was from residential facilities in Gauteng. In-depth interviews were used for people with disabilities and focus groups with service providers. This study found that the sexuality of people with disabilities was not prioritised with results uncovering: lack of privacy, lack of training and provision of sexual health education programs, denial of intimate relationships, negative self-esteem, unpleasant sexual experiences (abuse). Other concerns were, the nonexistence of sexuality policies, infantilisation of adults with disabilities, and negative attitudes towards the sexuality of people with disabilities. The recommendations were mainly: disability sensitisation and awareness campaigns at structural and residential care level.
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    Challenges experienced at NGO crisis shelters for women in the eThekwini region : perspectives of centre managers and social workers.
    (2016) Schreiner, Henrene Gerda.; Raniga, Tanusha.
    This qualitative research study used data source triangulation incorporating in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with Centre Managers and Social Workers respectively to explore intra-organisational and structural factors affecting service delivery at crisis shelters for women in the eThekwini region. Key findings which emerged under intra-organisational factors include role confusion pertaining to functions of Boards of Management relative to that of Centre Managers as well as functions of Centre Managers in relation to those of Social Workers; human and other resource limitations. The identified structural factors include: undesirable aspects of new managerialism; unequal power relationship between centres and funders; as well inadequate service by law enforcement as far as domestic violence is concerned. Based on the main findings, the key recommendation made is capacity building for Boards of Management; Centre Managers; as well as law enforcement agents.
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    Old versus new : a South African Police Service culture attitudinal comparison.
    (2016) Maweni, Vuyelwa Kemiso.; Steyn, Jéan.
    Contemporary ethnographers (Cockcroft, 2013; O’Neill, Marks & Singh, 2007; Sklansky, 2005) argue that new developments in policing have changed the police, and that traditional understanding of police culture, as a consequence, are no longer relevant. More specifically, these researchers fashionably imply that the South African Police Service (SAPS) has changed many of the traits of police culture that accentuate the cynicism of and isolation from the public. This masters’ dissertation is an attempt to contribute to this narrative by comparing the police culture themes of solidarity, isolation, and cynicism attitudes of two (2) different cohorts of new South African Police Service (SAPS) recruits separated by ten (10) years. By making use of the 30-item police culture themes of solidarity, isolation, and cynicism questionnaire, designed by Steyn (2005), the study established that a representative sample (138 out of a population of 140) of new SAPS recruits from the SAPS Chatsworth Basic Training Institute (August 2015), had remarkably similar attitudes in support of police culture themes of solidarity, isolation, and cynicism, compared to a representative sample of all new SAPS recruits that started their basic training in January 2005 (Steyn, 2005). Although small in representation, the current study refutes the claims made by Cockcroft (2013), O’Neill, Marks & Singh (2007), and Sklansky (2005), that traditional understandings of police culture are no longer relevant. The current study further argues that new developments in the South African Police Service (SAPS) over the past ten (10) years (2005-2015) have not done much to counteract traits of police culture that accentuate the cynicism of and isolation from the public.
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    School of applied human sciences : understanding the lived experiences of teenage parents in a designated secondary school in a Durban township.
    Ntini, Thobeka.; Sewpaul, Vishanthie.
    Irrespective of age, parenthood can be a life-changing event, which is filled with mixed feelings of anxiety and excitement for the journey ahead. There is increased anxiety and pressure for school-going teenagers that enter parenthood, as this adds to their major role responsibilities of learner, another major role of mother or father, which represent competing and conflict demands. Managing the conflicting roles can be extremely daunting and impact the day-to-day functioning of learners. Society assumes different roles for men and women, especially around parenthood that are based on presumed age of maturity amongst other factors. While the dominant societal discourse is on the problem of teen pregnancies and teen parents, their underlying structural determinants are often over-looked. The pathology-based approach labels and categories teen parents as problems. They are often described in condescending language, which overlooks the root causes of high rates of teen parenthood. Consistent with dominant stereotypical gender discourses, teenage fathers are often ignored. This study was designed to understand the experiences and narratives of both teenage fathers and mothers in a secondary school environment. The study employed a qualitative paradigm and a descriptive-exploratory design. The participants were identified through the use of convenience and snowball sampling. They were a total of 11 black African participants, seven being females and four being males. The data was collected using a focus group interview and semi-structured individual interviews. Audio-recorded sessions, which were transcribed and field notes were coded and developed into themes. The findings revealed that financial challenges, and disruption in schooling induced by entering parenthood while still being a learner were majors concern. There were also positive experiences that were born out of their challenging circumstances such as personal growth, increased sense of responsibility, and childrearing providing a sense of purpose and hope. But none of them would recommend other learners falling pregnant, and they suggested ways in which teen pregnancies might be prevented. There were some clear gender differences in the experiences of teen mothers and fathers. On the basis of the major findings and existing literature, recommendations are made in respect of policy, practice and further research.
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    Cross-cultural divorce mediation by social workers : experiences of mediators and clients.
    Steyn, Hermanus Kirchner.; Matthias, Carmel Rose.
    The study focused on the experiences of social work mediators and clients in cross-cultural divorce mediation. Currently there is minimal research available in the South African context. The context of the study was Durban and the sample groups came from FAMSA. Through the researcher’s interactions with colleagues and clients alike the researcher realised the need to explore clients’ and mediators’ experiences during the process of cross-cultural divorce mediation. The researcher did this in order to obtain an understanding of the challenges that mediators face when conducting cross-cultural divorce mediation, as well as to explore approaches/techniques used in cross-cultural divorce mediation for both clients and mediators alike and this prompted him to undertake the study. This study was qualitative and there were two sample groups. A non-probability, purposive sampling method was utilized for both samples. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 6 mediators and 12 clients. This study was guided by a social constructivist approach. The main conclusions drawn from the study were that mediators displayed high levels of self-awareness, were aware of cross-cultural issues and that participants were satisfied with the awareness shown. Participants reported that their voices were heard and that power imbalances were addressed in mediation. Two interrelated challenges were experienced by mediators, namely inadequate cross-cultural training and the need for participants to have more information on mediatory roles and responsibilities. One of the most widely reported tools by both mediators and participants, for the success of mediation was that of role clarification. Based on the analysis, the recommendations include introspection and reflection by mediators in cross-cultural mediations. Training on cross-cultural work is emphasized for better service delivery to clients. The need for access to information and services are pivotal and requires collaboration between various stakeholders. There continues to be a need for mediator support networks. The use of a well-designed preamble is of essence to clarify and maintain distinct roles and responsibilities during the process of cross-cultural divorce mediation.
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    Empowering volunteer caregivers working with foster families : the design, implementation and evaluation of a training programme.
    Shabalala, Nomthandazo Princess.; Simpson, Barbara.
    This study aimed to design, implement and evaluate a training programme to empower volunteer community caregivers working with foster families in the rural area of Ndwedwe, KwaZulu-Natal. The location of the study was at Ward 11 Sonkombo area which falls under Ndwedwe Local Municipality. The context of the research was a Non-governmental organization (NGO), the Zikhuliseni Traditional Development. The overall aim of the study was to design, implement and evaluate a training programme to empower volunteer community caregivers working with foster families in the rural area of Ndwedwe, KwaZulu-Natal. The objectives of this study were to: To determine the challenges facing volunteers in their work as community care givers. To develop and implement a programme aimed to address these challenges. To evaluate implemented programme. The research methodology utilized was The Adapted Intervention Research Model (Strydom, Steyn and Strydom: 2007). The participants of this study were seven volunteers who do voluntary work at the above mentioned organisation as well as the project manager. The study began by conducting need assessment with the participants. Secondly, the programme was designed and implemented. Thirdly, the implemented programme was evaluated. Data collection tools were a semi-structured interview, individual questionnaires and a focus group. The theoretical framework that guided this study was the empowerment theory. Findings of this study in relation to the objectives of the study revealed that the motivation of volunteering in this organization was mainly based on egoistic needs for money and the opportunities for self-improvement. No training had been provided for the volunteers. The implemented training programme was successful in empowering the volunteers. Recommendations regarding improving volunteers services are made.