An assessment tool for social workers to identify risk behaviour in foster children
Problem statement: Due to HIV and AIDS impacting on communities, devastating consequences have been predicted. The number of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in need of care is escalating, causing social workers’ caseloads to become unmanageable. These OVC who lost their parents through death are suffering multiple losses due to being orphaned. The material, protection and affection needs have to be addressed in a holistic, eco-systematic, multidisciplinary team approach. In practice social workers tend to focus mainly on the material and protection needs of OVC due to high caseloads and staff turnover, neglecting their affection needs. Social workers need to work with foster parents and children in identifying potential risk factors that could lead to risk behaviour in foster children who have lost their parents through death. The researcher designed an assessment tool that could enable social workers in practice to do an effective risk assessment of OVC in foster care. Intervention could be planned accordingly by setting goals to address risk factors timeously in an attempt to prevent future problem behaviour in OVC placed in foster care. Aim: To develop an assessment tool for social workers to identify risk behaviour in foster children who have experienced multiple losses such as the loss of one or both parents. Method: A mixed methods design was used, specifically the sequential and explanatory design which involved collecting and analysing both qualitative and quantitative data. These obtained data were then connected and integrated. Results: It was proved that a Risk assessment tool helped social workers to identify risk factors in a team effort between social workers, foster parents and children. Meeting the psychosocial needs of OVC placed in foster care more effectively is important in order to prevent the development of negative behaviour.
- Humanities