Exploring the lived experiences of abused or neglected children removed from their homes in Omusati region, Namibia and placed in a residential child-care in Oshana

dc.contributor.authorKapata, Kakinda
dc.descriptionA thesis submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in social worken_US
dc.description.abstractIn Namibia’s Omusati Region, it is a taboo to talk about family issues. For many families, issues such as those of violence against children are kept within the family. However, when children are abused or neglected, social workers from the MGECW in some cases remove them and place them in alternative care with an aim of protecting them and focusing on ‘the best interest of the child’. To increase understanding of this major social issue, a phenomenological study was conducted to explore the lived experiences of eight abused or neglected children (five females, three males) removed from their homes in the Omusati Region and placed in RCCF’s in Ondangwa, Oshana Region. Non- probability purposive sampling methods were used to select participants and the primary data gathering tool were the semi structured interviews. The study used the qualitative approach to provide person- centred information aimed at understanding the children’s lived experiences regarding their removal and placements at RCCFs. Tesch’s (8) method of data analysis was employed to analyse the data collected through the one-to-one person- centred interviews. The findings indicate that even though there is legislation guiding the duration and placements of children in RCCF’s, children are kept longer than necessary in the RCCFs. The study revealed that children voices are unheard regarding their removal and placements. Some respondents described being lonely, separated from their siblings and families and interrupted schooling. Identity, self-blame, cultural confusion and language were some of the issues identified that have a negative impact on the children’s self-image. The most significant environments offering support resides in the mesosystem which include the staff members at the facility, the teachers at schools and nurses at the clinics. The participant’s responses captured their feelings, emotions, behaviours, and thoughts and also indirectly revealed their coping strategies. Sharing their stories may equip the social workers with an understanding of the day to day life of this vulnerable population and recognise the children voices in decision making. The findings may also encourage the social worker making the placement to maintain a strong network of support around the child, his or her family, and the facility which may contribute to the development of the child’s positive self-image and minimise negative outcomes.en_US
dc.publisherUniversity of Namibiaen_US
dc.subjectOmusati regionen_US
dc.subjectNeglected childrenen_US
dc.subjectAbused childrenen_US
dc.subjectOshana regionen_US
dc.titleExploring the lived experiences of abused or neglected children removed from their homes in Omusati region, Namibia and placed in a residential child-care in Oshanaen_US
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