Thembalabantwana ”Hope for our children” – A study about Social Workers work with children who are orphaned because of HIV/Aids in South Africa.
The purpose of our thesis has been to study Social Workers view of children’s needs and how they work with children’s needs when they are orphaned because of HIV/Aids in South Africa. The question formulations we used to answer our purpose are: What needs do the Social Workers consider the children to have? How do the Social Workers work with children’s needs? We have a qualitative methodological approach in the thesis, where we have performed four interviews with four Social Workers on different organizations in and around Cape Town, South Africa. The presentation of the empirics is made as a summary with representative quotations, which we have interweaved with earlier research and theoretical conceptions. Our perspectives of theory are on crises and attachments. Our thesis shows that it is a trauma for the children to be orphaned regardless the cause, and that it is a trauma for the children to be separated from their parents and taken care of by an organization. The results from the thesis also show that the children who have been orphaned, abandoned and/or taken advantaged of all have substantial physical and emotional needs. These needs can appear in ways such as a need of an adult to attach to, a need to belong to someone, a need to feel safe and, most of all, a need to feel loved. These children also have substantial psychological needs and sometimes lack, for example, the capability to rationalize and understand the difference between right and wrong. They also have substantial needs of stimulation. The main task for the Social Workers is to find a home for these children. By giving them a home the children can experience safety, stability and love.