Sub-Saharan Africa

Connection cash with care for better child well-being: An evaluation of a Family and Community Strengthening Programme for beneficiaries of the Child Support Grant

Posted By: • May 20th, 2019
Over 12 million children, or 63% of all children in South Africa, received a Child Support Grant(CSG) in 2018. The CSG is a monthly cash transfer that has had a positive impact on child nutrition and school attendance and reduces income poverty in poor families with children.

Complementary family strengthening interventions are widely advocated to accelerate the positive effects of cash transfers locally and internationally. It is anticipated that these strategies could mitigate psychosocial, systemic and structural risks that compromise child well-being in disadvantaged families

Evidence-based social interventions to combine cash with care interventions are being tested in different countries to enhance child well-being. The Sihleng’imizi (meaning ‘we care for families’) Family Programme is an example of such an evidence-based preventative social-educational intervention. It was specifically designed to complement and scale up the positive benefits of the CSG in South Africa. The goal is to strengthen disadvantaged families living in a growing and changing African city to improve child well-being outcomes. The theory of change was informed by the social development model and social-educational intervention principles. The design of the programme builds on the existing strengths of families and proposed that improved knowledge and skills in the following five areas could improve overall family and child well-being outcomes:

  1. Child-caregiver relations: improving communication, family cohesion, behavioural management, and caregiving capabilities;
  2. Involvement of caregivers in the child’s education;
  3. Social and community connectedness: improving social networks and social supports;
  4. Financial capabilities: enhancing basic budgeting and savings knowledge and skills, and
  5. Nutritional knowledge such as basic nutrition and hygiene in food preparation.

This report presents the findings of this intervention study evaluating the short-term outcomes of Sihleng’imizi. The qualitative data was drawn from interviews with the 40 families who completed the programme and 20 control group families.

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