Children’s Caring Role and Responsibilities within the Family in Africa 

See below, the work of Ruth Jones, an article published in 2010. WHY has it taken us 11 years to find it! The abstract is as follows:

In many Sub-Saharan African countries, the care of chronically ill, disabled, or elderly relatives is usually regarded as the responsibility of family members, within a broader landscape of often overburdened healthcare systems, the expense of medical fees, very limited access to social protection, and policies that emphasize home-based care.

Recent studies have demonstrated that children and youth, particularly girls and young women, take on considerable caring roles for chronically ill and elderly relatives in Africa.

This article reviews the available research on young people’s caring roles and responsibilities within families affected by chronic illness and disability in Sub-Saharan Africa.

I discuss how children’s caring roles challenge global and local constructions of childhood and suggest ways of conceptualizing the socio-spatial and embodied dimensions of children’s everyday care work within diverse household forms.

Holding the babyI analyze evidence on outcomes of care and children’s resilience in managing their caring responsibilities and examine the complex array of processes that influence whether children take on caring roles within the family.

I argue that relational, intergenerational, and life course approaches to researching children’s caring responsibilities within the family have considerable potential for future geographical research and could provide further insights into the ways that care is embedded in social relations.

Evans, R. (2010), Children’s caring roles and responsibilities within the family in Africa, Geography Compass, 4(10): 1477-1496.