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Title The utilisation of support groups for non-biological caregivers of children with FASD
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Publication Date
Date Available
Degree M Social Work
Discipline/Department Social Work
University/Publisher Stellenbosch University
Abstract ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Non-biological caregivers often take children into their care when their own biological caregivers have failed to provide them with a safe and loving home. These children are often also affected with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Learning of a child’s disability can be a big shock to non-biological caregivers especially if it is misunderstood, available professional help is scarce and intervention resources are not readily available. These non-biological caregivers are often not prepared for the financial, emotional and physical investment that is required to fully support the children and their development. This can cause various emotional reactions and implications that are challenging for the caregivers. It is critical to recognise parenting experiences and challenges as a means of developing and promoting intervention strategies and support that will respond to the needs of the children with FASD and their non-biological caregivers especially from a South African perspective. There is a need for social workers to take on responsibility for addressing FASD as they have the professional capacity to help families living with FASD to develop and maintain stable and nurturing households. One way in which this can be achieved is through the initiation and facilitation of support groups. The goal of the study was to gain an understanding on the experiences of non-biological caregivers of children with FASD and of the utilisation of support groups to help them cope better. The researcher made use of a combination of an exploratory and descriptive research design. By using both a quantitative and qualitative approach in a complimentary manner, the researcher was able to gain an in depth insight into the lives of the non-biological caregivers and how they experience this disability and support groups that are utilised as a means of helping them cope. Permission to conduct the study was granted by the committee for Human Research at the University of Stellenbosch. The literature study firstly investigated the implication of FASD on affected children. Secondly, the extents to which non-biological caregivers are affected by the consequences of this disability were discussed. After this the utilisation of support groups as a method of supporting non-biological caregivers, with the emphasis on a mutual-aid and educational approach as theoretical underpinning was described. The empirical study was completed with 16 participants through face-to-face, semi-structured interviews. An interview schedule based on the findings of the literature study was utilised. The criteria for inclusion were that participants had to have attended at least 5 support group sessions and had to be a non-biological caregiver of FASD children who had attended the support groups specifically related to this disorder. The results of this study mostly confirmed the findings from the literature study which showed that support groups play a vital role in providing necessary support to non-biological caregivers who are often…
Subjects/Keywords Children of prenatal alcohol abuse  – Care; Fetal alcohol syndrome; Alcoholism in pregnancy; Foster parents  – Services for; UCTD
Contributors Engelbrecht, Lambert Karel; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Social Work.
Language en
Rights Stellenbosch University
Country of Publication za
Format xvii, 196 pages : illustrations (some colour)
Record ID handle:10019.1/96934
Repository stellenbosch
Date Retrieved
Date Indexed 2019-10-21

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