Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development https://unisapressjournals.co.za/index.php/SWPR <p><strong>Hybrid Open Access</strong></p> <p><em>Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development, </em>formerly<em> The Social Work Practitioner-Researcher,</em> is a refereed interdisciplinary journal for social workers and social service professionals concerned with the advancement of the theory and practice of social work and social development in Africa and in a changing global world. </p> Unisa Press en-US Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development 2520-0097 Implementing the Supervision Framework for the Social Work Profession: Supervisors’ Views and Experiences https://unisapressjournals.co.za/index.php/SWPR/article/view/11306 <p>This study focused on social work supervision and its impact on the occupational development and service delivery of supervisees, specifically within the South African Department of Social Development (DSD). While previous research has often examined the views and experiences of supervisees and student social workers, the study uniquely explored the perspective of social work supervisors. Utilising the systems theory as a theoretical framework, qualitative research with semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis was employed. The findings revealed significant structural challenges that hindered the alignment of social work supervision with the DSD’s established Supervision Framework. As the scope of the study was limited to the Mahikeng Service Point, North West, South Africa, generalisation is cautioned, necessitating further research in other welfare organisations for a broader understanding.</p> Doris Lesego Tsima Mpumelelo Ncube Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press 2023-10-31 2023-10-31 35 3 21 pages 21 pages 10.25159/2708-9355/11306 Using the Possible Me Tree Model to Identify Resilience Enabling Relationships for Young People Exiting Residential Care https://unisapressjournals.co.za/index.php/SWPR/article/view/10783 <p>The importance of relationships for young people exiting residential care is noted extensively in the care-leaving literature. Helpful and supportive relationships cushion care leavers as they exit the statutory system and provide a network of supports that may develop resilience, facilitate their journeys into independence, and contribute towards better outcomes for young people who have experienced care. However, the available literature suggests that social workers are not skilled at identifying relationships that young people in care consider to be important. This article draws on a qualitative study conducted in four Child and Youth Care Centres in Eastern Cape, South Africa. This was a qualitative study using a phenomenological design. Twelve participants were interviewed using the possible me tree model, which requires participants to draw a tree with three aspects of their future selves. The participants were interviewed using a semi-structured interview schedule which included relationship specific questions. The young people identified relationships with their care workers, relatives, sports coach/es, and partner and partner’s family as significant. From this it may be suggested that the possible me tree may be used to identify relationships that young people regard as important, and which may serve as resilience enablers. It is recommended that more studies using this approach, which include a longitudinal component, would add to this initial study.</p> Sue Bond Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press 2023-09-21 2023-09-21 35 3 18 pages 18 pages 10.25159/2708-9355/10783 Community Oriented Substance Use Programme in the City of Tshwane: A Cross-sectional Survey of Stakeholder Perceptions https://unisapressjournals.co.za/index.php/SWPR/article/view/13358 <p>The City of Tshwane and University of Pretoria’s Community Oriented Substance Use Programme (COSUP) is an applied research intervention to address drug use-related harms in the city by using a harm reduction community-oriented primary care approach. This is a study of stakeholder perceptions of South Africa’s first publicly funded community-based harm reduction programme. In late 2021, purposively sampled respondents were surveyed using a cross-sectional survey. Electronically captured data were collected on respondent demographic characteristics, familiarity with COSUP and perceptions of COSUP’s effect on service users’ well-being, access to drug use services, family relationships, community integration, and on effective approaches to managing drug use. Frequencies and proportions were analysed as a total and by the degree of familiarity with COSUP, using descriptive statistics. Overall, 338 (93.1%) of the 363 stakeholders who consented to participate in the study had some familiarity with COSUP. Socio-demographically, 68.1% were female and over half (52.4%) were aged between 25–39 years. Most (70–80%) thought COSUP improved client well-being, family relationships and community re-integration. Most (80–84%) perceived COSUP to have increased service provider willingness to support people who use drugs, improved stakeholder networking and raised awareness of drug-related services. Most (76%) considered harm reduction to be the best approach to manage harmful drug use in the city. Stakeholders exposed to the work of COSUP perceive the intervention to be beneficial for individuals, families and service-providing organisations. Most favour a harm reduction approach to drug use and believe COSUP should be sustained and expanded.</p> Andrew Scheibe Likwa Ncube Dimakatso Nonyane Magriet Coetzee-Spies Tessa Marcus Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press 2023-09-08 2023-09-08 35 3 19 pages 19 pages 10.25159/2708-9355/13358 Social Workers’ Experiences in Preparing Children for the Children’s Court: The Need for Specific Guidelines https://unisapressjournals.co.za/index.php/SWPR/article/view/12451 <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">The children’s court aims to protect children by acting in the best interests of the child. Another function of the children’s court is to determine whether a child needs care and protection (Children’s Act 38 of 2005). Court proceedings can be stressful for the child, who is already abused, neglected, and removed from their normal environment. There are limited resources within the South African context regarding the preparation of children for children’s court proceedings. This qualitative social work research study explored social workers’ perceptions and experiences with regard to guidelines that could assist social workers in preparing children for children’s court proceedings. The researcher conducted semi-structured interviews by following a purposive sampling method with social workers from the Department of Social Development in the Zwelentlanga Fatman Mgcawu District Municipality with the purpose of exploring the need for specific guidelines in preparing children for children’s court. The findings revealed the lack of guidelines that existed. Key themes include: social work roles in court, barriers to role fulfilment, and focus and content of guidelines.</span></p> Ernestine February Elzahne Simeon De Jager Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press 2023-09-06 2023-09-06 35 3 19 pages 19 pages 10.25159/2708-9355/12451 Experiences and Challenges of Parents with Children Removed Through a Statutory Process https://unisapressjournals.co.za/index.php/SWPR/article/view/12300 <p>The South African Constitution grants children the right to protection, and in cases where their safety and development are compromised, prompt removal and placement into alternative care is mandated. However, statutory removals can lead to tension and challenges between parents and social workers, impacting the parent-social worker relationship and complicating the removal process. This study delved into the experiences and challenges faced by parents involved in such removal processes. A qualitative approach was adopted, utilising semi-structured interviews for data collection. Thematic analysis yielded two main themes and several related sub-themes. The study revealed that parents’ overall experience remained negative, with limited participation in the removal process and their expectations not being fully met. Findings underscore the significance of the social worker-parent relationship while acknowledging its inherent difficulties. Communication gaps were evident, with parents often left uninformed and unconsulted during the removal process. The research highlights the need for improved communication and collaboration between social workers and parents to ensure a more transparent and supportive removal process. Addressing these challenges can ultimately lead to better outcomes for both the children and their families involved in the child protection system.</p> Charlene Erasmus Alfred Harris Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press 2023-10-31 2023-10-31 35 3 17 pages 17 pages 10.25159/2708-9355/12300 Exploring Community Participation Towards Sustainable Livelihoods https://unisapressjournals.co.za/index.php/SWPR/article/view/12193 <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">South Africa still struggles with poverty, inequality and unemployment after two decades of democracy. By historical and international standards, poverty levels continue to be relatively high despite some recent progress in reducing the scourge. This study explores community participation to mobilise the strengths and assets of community members towards sustainable livelihoods in Tshwane, Gauteng Province, South Africa. The qualitative study was undertaken with 21 participants from four community development projects. The participants were purposefully selected, and individual semi-structured and focus group interviews were utilised to elicit data following ethical research principles. The findings of the study demonstrate that the community development projects managed by the development centres struggle to uphold accountability in poverty alleviation because they lack community participation, skills and the capacity to mobilise assets. The implications of the study are that development centres need to ensure the participation and mobilisation of strengths and assets of community members to empower them towards self-reliant, sustainable livelihoods.</span></p> Rebecca Mmamoagi Skhosana Hanna Nel Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press 2023-08-22 2023-08-22 35 3 19 pages 19 pages 10.25159/2708-9355/12193 Religion and Spirituality among Child and Youth Care Workers in KwaZulu-Natal https://unisapressjournals.co.za/index.php/SWPR/article/view/11727 <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">There has been little empirical research on the salience of spirituality in a child and youth care context. In order to bridge this scholarly gap, this study sought to investigate the views of child and youth care practitioners in KwaZulu-Natal, with regard to the role of religion and spirituality in child and youth care. A cross-sectional survey design was used to gather data from 215 practitioners working in various child and youth care settings. The study found high levels of personal religiosity and spirituality among the sample and significant support for the role of religion and spirituality and the use of spiritually based interventions, despite little educational preparedness in this regard.</span></p> Raisuyah Bhagwan Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press 2023-08-22 2023-08-22 35 3 19 pages 19 pages 10.25159/2708-9355/11727 Socio-Economic Challenges Experienced by Widows and Support Provided by Social Workers in Raymond Mhlaba Local Municipality in Eastern Cape, South Africa https://unisapressjournals.co.za/index.php/SWPR/article/view/11179 <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">Widowed women, or widows, across the globe share common experiences which relate to social and economic challenges. For example, in some parts of Africa, widowhood comes as an elevated experience of deprivation, subjugation and humiliation. Widows are not only viewed with suspicion, but are also regarded as an economic burden on their relatives, especially if they are not working. This article reports on a study that aimed to investigate the impact of socio-economic support provided by social workers to widows in mitigating social and economic challenges. A qualitative approach was adopted for the study. The study sample comprised 20 widows and 15 social workers. The findings revealed that widows experience various socio-economic challenges. The study also found that while social workers provide services that are necessary for all South Africans, they do not offer any specific services directed to widows. In conclusion, the situation in which widows find themselves calls for more holistic interventions from social workers as they respond to the challenges that affect widows’ well-being and functioning. </span></p> Akhona Tshaka Pius Tanga Zintle Ntshongwana Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press 2023-08-22 2023-08-22 35 3 21 pages 21 pages 10.25159/2708-9355/11179 The Effects of Internal and External Risk Factors in Forensic Social Workers’ Experience of Secondary Traumatic Stress https://unisapressjournals.co.za/index.php/SWPR/article/view/13317 <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">Forensic social workers are vulnerable to secondary traumatic stress due to their direct exposure to trauma narratives from sexually abused children. They face the unique challenge of distinguishing between their roles as expert witnesses and therapists. However, research on the risk factors for secondary traumatic stress in forensic social workers is frequently disregarded both internationally and in South Africa. The purpose of this study was to look at the effect of internal and external risk factors on secondary traumatic stress symptoms among forensic social workers. An all-inclusive voluntary sample method was used to include all trained forensic social workers with a master’s degree in forensic practice who graduated from a recognised South African university between 2006 and 2019. The study used a quantitative cross-sectional descriptive design and data was collected using Google Forms, which was distributed via email. IBM SPSS version 27 was used to analyse the data. Internal factors such as race and relationship status as well as external factors such as clinical supervision, social support, and exposure to traumatic experiences were found to have varied effects on secondary traumatic stress symptoms in the study.</span></p> Baatseba Babra Mashego Pieter Boshoff Erika Fourie Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press 2023-09-08 2023-09-08 35 3 22 pages 22 pages 10.25159/2708-9355/13317 Deepening Resilience in Youth: Learning from an Impact Evaluation of a South African Youth Development Programme https://unisapressjournals.co.za/index.php/SWPR/article/view/12417 <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">Positive youth development programmes seek to actively develop positive qualities in young people through life skills training, leadership training, recreational or wilderness activities, community service, mentoring, counselling and job placement training. We evaluated a positive youth development programme implemented in the Western Cape, South Africa, by following up with graduates who had completed the programme between one and five years prior. Using an ex-post facto, quasi-experimental design, propensity scores were used to identify a sample of successful graduates who has completed the programme (<em>N</em> <em><sub>Treatment</sub></em> = 32) and a sample of people who had applied to the programme but were not selected into the programme (<em>N <sub>Control</sub></em> = 33). Quantitative data from the impact evaluation were combined with qualitative interviews with past beneficiaries. The evaluation found no significant difference between past participants and non-participants in terms of resilience, education attainment, employment, self-reported drug use, gang involvement, community integration, family relationships, and involvement in community service. The qualitative findings suggest that while such programmes may be capable of producing short-term benefits for participants, the sustainability of the short-term benefits and their translation into long-term positive outcomes was not evidenced by this evaluation. We make recommendations for improving programme design aspects, such as an emphasis on post-programme services and contextual factors such as socioeconomic climate, and emphasise how these factors need to be addressed in order to strengthen the plausibility of the causal mechanism of these programmes.</span></p> Sandra Mkandawire Sarah Chapman Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press 2023-09-07 2023-09-07 35 3 18 pages 18 pages 10.25159/2708-9355/12417 Life Experiences Represented by Tattoos and Scars on Body Maps of Male Adolescents in Conflict with the Law https://unisapressjournals.co.za/index.php/SWPR/article/view/12220 <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">This qualitative study aimed at exploring the life experiences represented by tattoos and scars of adolescent males in conflict with the law. The adolescent participants were detained in restrictive placement at what was then called Special Youth Centres. A case study design guided the research, which was conducted in 2010/2011. Fifteen unstructured interviews were conducted with five participants. Body maps were used as visual data-collection strategy. Three themes were identified from the transcripts. First, the contextual factors that characterised the living situations of participants. Second, narratives of pain and suffering were linked to the scars indicated on body maps. Most scars could be linked to domestic violence, physical abuse, harsh parenting practices, and gang involvement. The third theme outlined the link between tattoos and gangs. Participants expressed the negative consequences of such tattoos and described how emotions triggered them to get new tattoos. Two conclusions can be drawn: families should offer a safe haven to children, but often do not; while gangs offer protection, identity and access to commodities, with negative short- and long-term consequences.</span></p> Marinda Pienaar Mariette van der Merwe Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press 2023-09-06 2023-09-06 35 3 18 pages 18 pages 10.25159/2708-9355/12220 Navigating a Colonial Legacy and Issues of Race and Racism as a South African Social Work Academic https://unisapressjournals.co.za/index.php/SWPR/article/view/12137 <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">A colonial legacy, the nature of which subliminally instils ingrained reproductions of racial inferiority and superiority, makes it necessary to highlight the need to focus in more depth on the race and racism discourse of social work academics. As social work educators within the current South African higher education, the importance of social justice cannot be overemphasised. Considering the colonial undertones of South African social work education and the multicultural nature of South African society, in this article, I focus on the ethical implications of a colonial legacy and lingering race and racism issues for social work education. The article is derived from part of a qualitative study on discourses about race and racism with 16 academics within the higher education arena. In the article, I employed a non-probability sampling method, face-to-face interviews and a discursive data analysis approach. An excerpt of the interview with one academic Claire (white) is analysed by the researcher (black) with specific focus on Claire’s race and racism discourse. The focus is on critically and reflexively engaging with the ethical implications this has for social work education in the current era. It also contains my reflections as a social work academic navigating issues of race and racism. The findings evidenced seeming obliviousness to coloniality for Claire, which I inadvertently channel. This reflects the challenges of the South African commitment to moving beyond colonialism and the challenge this poses for social work values and ethics.</span></p> Siphiwe Motloung Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press 2023-09-21 2023-09-21 35 3 17 pages 17 pages 10.25159/2708-9355/12137