COVID-19 and Alternative Care in South Africa: Children’s Responses to the Pandemic. A Case Study from a Child and Youth Care Centre in Mogale City

Rika Swanzen and Gert Jonker - Institutionalised Children Explorations and Beyond


The experiences from a case study are evaluated against the aspects such as emergency response to vulnerable populations and other sources from the literature to serve as guidelines for the management of an epidemic in a child and youth care centre (CYCC). To help understand the effects of the epidemic on the centre, this article describes experiences in terms of the meeting of needs. A discussion of the following are part of the article:

• A reflection will be provided on the observed stages the children and child and youth care workers (CYCWs) went through during 177 days of a national lockdown;

• Indications of caregiver burnout;

• Experiences around the meeting of children’s needs through the lens of child and youth care (CYC) theory; and

• Proposed areas needing attention in mitigating risks.

Some lessons learnt from the daily routine established to manage the lockdown regulations, sometimes experienced as nonsensical, are shared. From these reflections, questions for research are provided from a practice-based evidence approach, mainly aimed at determining the readiness of a CYCC to manage a state of disaster, while needing to focus on meeting children’s needs.