Identifying risk and protective factors in multi–problem poor families living in Cape Town
From the researcher’s personal work experience it was found that there appeared to be a cycle of poverty and welfare dependency in multi–problem poor families. This research was undertaken as a means to lay foundational work in identifying risk and protective factors in multi–problem poor families living in Cape Town. A qualitative research approach was utilised and interviews were conducted with participants that met the selection criteria. The objectives of the research were to gather data in the form of deep, descriptive narrative accounts of multi–problem families’ chronosystems and current life issues, with a focus on the life challenges and difficulties that put the family at risk. The data was collected by means of interviews utilising a semi–structured interview schedule as well as tools such as genograms, ecomaps, and life lines (see Addendum 4). Analysed data indicated themes of intergenerational risk factors that included substance abuse, domestic violence, teenage pregnancy and early school dropout. It was also found that within the current generation, absent parents was a major risk factor for children. Protective factors and variables that promoted resilience in families were also explored. It was found that religious beliefs, community support systems and personal resources were the major protective factors in these families. The research findings led to the identification of a number of early–intervention projects and programmes that could be implemented to address the identified risk factors in multi–problem poor families. These interventions include school literacy and support programmes, improved sex education in schools and community support forums.
- Health Sciences