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Title: Assessing the social well-being of children in Durban left behind by parents working outside the borders of South Africa
Authors: Buthelezi, Ntombizodwa Elaine 
Keywords: Migrating parents
Issue Date: Apr-2022
In recent times, South Africa has seen an increase in temporary migration of working
mothers and fathers compared to previous years leaving their children behind
regardless of age. Children are left in not so familiar environment to learn to cope
without their parents. Young and middle-aged males and females are away from
homes for periods from 6 months to 12 months or even more before their first home
visit from seeking greener pastures and financial stability. The absence of parents has
led to children encountering challenges that range from schoolwork, poor social
adjustment, short-lived happiness, signs of loneliness even when amongst fellow
children. Furthermore, children tend to assume adult responsibilities, thus protecting
and defending younger siblings.
Children left behind by migrating parents live in difficult conditions and are subjected to
different challenges such as social instability, low education performance,
psychological effects.
This study aimed to assess the social well-being of children left behind by South
African parents working outside the country. A qualitative exploratory study was
undertaken using a non-probability sampling technique known as judgemental
sampling. The target population for this study was all families that are taking care of
children who have been left behind by parents seeking greener pastures outside the
country. The sample size for this study was six families in the KwaZulu Natal province
specifically in the Durban area. Data were analysed using NVIVO. The findings of this
study showed that children face loneliness due to the absence of their parents. Due to
the lack of parental care, they feel helpless because they cannot do as they wish. No
parental support when it comes to school activities. The limitation of this study was that
the sample size was small as such the findings cannot be applied beyond the current
scope. Future research should be conducted across South Africa using a large sample
size. Also, a comparative study should be undertaken to broaden the understanding of
the problem.
Thesis submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Management Sciences specializing Masters in Public Management, Durban University of Technology Durban, South Africa, 2022.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Management Sciences)

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