Background: Caregivers of children with disabilities are vital stakeholders when it comes to safeguarding the health, well-being and overall survival of the children that they care for. Caregivers, however, face many challenging conditions that make it difficult for them to optimally fulfil their caregiving role. Understanding these challenges is crucial for developing empowerment programmes for caregivers, which will ensure that children with disabilities receive comprehensive, optimal care and that caregivers experience a good quality of life. Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore and describe the experiences of caregivers providing care to children with disabilities at non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in townships of Tshwane, South Africa. Method: This study followed an exploratory, descriptive and contextual research design within a qualitative methodology. The population in this study included caregivers who care for children with disabilities at NGOs (n = 10). Participants for the study were selected using the purposive sampling technique. Data were collected by conducting semistructured interviews with caregivers. Data were analysed according to the six phases of thematic analysis proposed by. Results: The study revealed six themes that represent the challenges experienced by caregivers, namely (1) initial impressions, (2) rendering care, (3) stress, (4) lack of outside support, (5) coping and (6) poor community recognition. Conclusion: Support from the Departments of Health and Social Development and other institutions providing community rehabilitation services to townships should be provided to caregivers in order to empower them with skills and knowledge to effectively address the challenges they face so that they can render optimal care to the children they care for.
- Caregiver challenges
- Children with disabilities
- Non-governmental organisations
- Tshwane townships