The Care Dependency Grant Assessment tool pilot was a tendered project for the Department of Social Development. The primary aim was to field test a new tool for assessing children’s eligibility for the Care Dependency Grant (CDG), a social grant for children with long-term health conditions who have permanent care needs.
This project was part of a collaborative, inter-disciplinary study on the role of the urban environment in shaping illness, health and well-being, initiated by the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town. As one of the project partners, the Children’s Institute led a sub-project on Healthy Cities for Children.
Over the past 10 years a diverse set of problems have been documented about the widespread use of the foster care system to provide financial assistance to the country’s increasing number of orphans, the majority of whom are living with relatives. Children’s Institute socio-legal research and consultations with government and practitioners are aimed at finding clarity and proposing solutions that are in the best interests of all affected children.
The Means to Live Project investigates the targeting aspect of selected poverty alleviation programmes relevant to socio-economic rights, and the consequences of this targeting for children. The government programmes examined are the Child Support Grant, the Housing Subsidy Scheme, the Free Basic Water policy, the No-Fee and School Fee Exemption policies, free primary health care and the National School Nutrition Programme.
This work aimed to increase knowledge about child poverty dynamics in South Africa through data analysis to inform and evaluate pro-poor policy from the perspective of children, and child outcomes. It was an extension project to the Children Count – Abantwana Babalulekile project and part of an initiative of the Programme to Support Pro-Poor Policy Development, a partnership of the Presidency and the European Union, to support poverty-related research that could contribute to evidence for policy development.
Children Count – Abantwana Babalulekile is an ongoing project that provides time-series statistics on the situation of children in South Africa to multiple audiences. The statistics and related commentary, as well as information on the data sources, are available at childrencount.ci.org.za.
Established in 2005, this children's participation project is now run independently by the Zisize Educational Trust. It enables children in rural northern KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa to use the power of radio and storytelling to describe and explore their lives and circumstances for a South African and – via the Worldwide Web – global audience.
There is widespread concern that the numbers of children living in ’child-headed households’ are rapidly increasing as a result of AIDS-related adult mortality in much of sub-Saharan Africa. This systematic analysis of representative national surveys over the period 2000 – 2007 aimed to shed light on the extent to which this is the case in South Africa, and to examine the phenomenon in more detail.
Getting research into policy and practice is a main objective of the Children's Institute. This project therefore over several years recorded the story of the Institute's involvement in policy and law-reform processes, together with analyses of the strengths and weaknesses of the advocacy methodology used in each process. The information gained from each evaluation or case study fed into new projects and communicated to national and international audiences through publications and occasional seminars.
The Children’s Institute since 2001 has contributed to research and advocacy on new policies on social security for children. Research to date has focused on elements of the social security system particularly pertaining to children living in poverty. The aim is to advocate for the improvement of the social security system in South Africa to ensure that the right to social assistance is realised for all children.
The 28,000 schools across South Africa have huge potential to serve as 'gateways' for a range of services for children. This multi-year action-research project undertook to understand and facilitate an expanded role for school as 'nodes of care and support' to vulnerable children affected by HIV/AIDS and poverty. It aimed to help schools to mobilise role-players in their schools and communities to provide a greater level of care and support for children.
The Children’s Institute in 2002 undertook a review of existing international assessment tools, which provided invaluable information to guide the development and design of a new practice tool for use in South Africa. The Institute, together with other academic role players, assisted the Department of Social Development in developing this new tool.