Cerebral palsy is a neurodevelopmental condition that severely impedes a child?s development. Many children with this developmental disorder may have complex limitations in self-care functions which renders them completely reliant on their caregivers. This study explores the experiences of kinship caregivers of children with cerebral palsy. The study has been based on the concern that despite extensive research on the experiences of caregivers caring for children with cerebral palsy, little research has been conducted about the experiences of kinship caregivers who care for children with this developmental disorder in a Botswana context.
The aim of this research has been to understand the experiences of kinship carers who care for children with cerebral palsy in Mahalapye, Botswana. The researcher had adopted a qualitative exploratory approach. Non-probability purposive sampling and volunteer sampling had been utilised to select the research participants. Qualitative data had been collected by utilising one-to-one semi-structured interviews. A total sample of 12 participants had been drawn from the pool of caregivers of children between the ages of six and twelve who have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and who reside in the Mahalapye Village.
The study findings show that caring for a child with cerebral palsy exposes kinship caregivers to many challenges such as burden of care, impaired health, poverty and stigmatisation. Some of these challenges are attributed to the child?s disability while some are due to insufficient services provided to caregivers. However, acceptance of the child, religious beliefs and the supportive role played by family members enable the caregivers to adapt to life with a child diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
The study concludes that challenges faced by kinship caregivers raising children with cerebral palsy in Botswana is aggravated by inadequate intervention programmes and services that could assist caregivers and disabled children, despite a firm and comprehensive national policy on care for people with disabilities. The intervention care programme should bestow more focus on recognising caregivers? challenges and removing such obstacles by providing effective services. A support programme that could ensure continuity of care will benefit caregivers by assisting them in adapting. The study suggests that programmes that have been designed to enhance identified family resilience quality, which help families to adapt following the diagnosis of cerebral palsy of a child, should be implemented.
Mini Dissertation (MSW)--University of Pretoria, 2017.