Counselling Needs of Orphaned Children: A case Study of Harare Metropolitan Children
AbstractIn recent years Zimbabwe has experienced a high death rate due to HIV/AIDS and other causes. This has resulted in massive numbers of children of school - going age, becoming orphans due to loss of one or both parents. This study sought to investigate the experiences of the orphans with regard to counselling support the children received in schools. The study adopted an interpretivist paradigm. A case study design was used. Data were gathered from 13 purposively selected secondary school students and 4 school counsellors using phenomenological in-depth interviews and life narratives. The study established that although orphans suffer multiple consequences after bereavement, they do not get adequate counselling due to; lack of clear school bereavement policies; negative attitudes towards counselling by teachers; lack of proper planning and the reactive nature of bereavement counselling in the schools. The study recommends that school authorities must ensure that counsellors are supported and empowered to deliver effective counselling services to orphans. It also recommends that further research which seeks to go beyond the dominant Euro-centric bereavement counseling models; and which can lay the basis for the development of Afro-centric approaches to bereavement counselling must be undertaken.
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