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How well are children faring?


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How well are children faring?

How well are children faring?

22nd September 2023


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  • How well are children faring?
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UJ’s Centre for Social Development in Africa (CSDA) and the South African Research Chairs Initiative released the findings of the “How well are children faring?” report. 

The data reflects the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on various aspects of wellbeing across households, caregivers and children, and shows how children fared at the end of the pandemic in 2022.


The Community of Practice (CoP) team presented the findings from their research and demonstrated the importance of monitoring the multi-dimensional wellbeing of children and their families. 

Over a period of three years (2020-2022), data was gathered from a cohort of children across five Johannesburg schools, enabling the CoP to implement tailored interventions addressing the needs of individual children, caregivers and families to enhance their wellbeing. 


This summary provides an overview of the findings obtained from caregivers, teachers, children, and health practitioners over the three-year period. 

Key findings:

  • There was a gradual decrease in the number of children experiencing difficulties, from 35% in Wave 1 (2020), to 24% in Wave 2 (2021) and 11% in Wave 3 (2022).
  • Levels of caregiver depression more than halved between Wave 1 and Wave 3, from 52.6% in Wave 1 (2020) to 23.5% in Wave 3 (2023).
  • This coincided with an increase in the support caregivers received from family, from 31.7% in 2020 to 69.9% in 2022. 
  • Six out of 10 children continued to be exposed to hostile and violent behaviour.
  • Child hunger had started to recover towards the end of the pandemic. In 2020, 16 children were going to be hungry, this dropped to zero in 2021 but increased slightly to six children in 2022. 18% more children were eating three meals a day in 2022.
  • Full-time employment recovered marginally reaching 16% in 2020, down from 20% in 2020.
  • In 2022, 85% of the sample received the CSG and 40% of households had access to the SRD.
  • Social grants cushioned the economic shock of the pandemic but 29% of households did not have sufficient money to buy the things that they needed.  

Report by the University of Johannesburg


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