Child-headed households: dissecting our understanding of who is at risk

SOURCE: ChildrenFIRST
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2003
TITLE AUTHOR(S): C.Desmond, L.Richter, M.Makiwane, A.Amoateng
KEYWORDS: CHILD HEADED HOUSEHOLDS, CHILDREN, HIV/AIDS, ORPHANS
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Development (HSD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 2435

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Abstract

It is an emotive and tragic story, children heading households after the death of their parents, and teenagers taking on adult roles of care and financial support in an effort to cope with the loss of their caregivers. The phenomenon of child-headed households is one of the key social challenges associated with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. However, this article argues that our understanding of what a child-headed household is, and what other household situations place children at risk, is superficial.