What are the characteristics of effective caregivers as perceived by directors of institutions for orphaned and vulnerable children?
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Caring for, raising, and educating orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC) is important work that is critical to the long-term well-being of those children. Despite the importance of caregiving, it can be overwhelming and stressful. A large part of the available literature addresses the burden of caregiving, such as burnout and fatigue. There is little information about the characteristics that caregivers need to deliver effective care in institutions for OVC, and yet such information would be very useful to the directors of these institutions as they hire and train caregivers. This study’s objective was to identify the characteristics of effective caregivers through qualitative interviews with directors of institutions for OVC across four countries: Cambodia, Ethiopia, India and Kenya. A total of twenty-eight interviews were conducted across all countries in their local languages. Interviews were translated, transcribed in English and analyzed using NVivo (Version 11) software. A thematic analysis of the data yielded three domains: personal qualities, skills, and religion. Each domain is comprised of themes that participants perceived as contributing to good caregiving. Across the four sites, most participants looked for similar characteristics in caregivers. That being said, there were also some participants who indicated unique characteristics they sought in caregivers. These findings can inform plans to enhance effective and sustainable caregiving at institutions.
Public health education
Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC)
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