Psychosocial Challenges Faced by Children in Residential Care Facilities
Children in residential care facilities face a myriad of challenges that range from a lack of attachment with caregivers, peer relationships to a lack of proper adult guidance, identity, and a family with shared values. This study sought to examine the psychosocial challenges facing children in residential childcare facilities in the Mashonaland Central province, Zimbabwe. The study adopted a qualitative approach and used a case study design. A sample of 44 children from a children’s home in Bindura town, Mashonaland Central province and 3 key informants who were caregivers participated in the study. The study used purposive sampling in identifying participants for interviews and focus group discussions. Data were analysed using a thematic content analysis. The study found that the children are affected by peer pressure, discriminated against by society, and also face challenges in adapting to the institutional life. The psychosocial challenges children face affect their confidence and self-esteem. Based on the study findings, the research recommends soft skills training for children to prepare them for release after their eighteenth birthday. It also recommends continuous training of caregivers to reduce burnout and to keep them updated with trends in childcare in terms of regulations, and the provision of educational materials on issues affecting children the most like HIV and AIDS, drug and substance abuse and stress.