Disability and cerebral palsy can occur at any time of any individual’s life. Conditions such as cerebral palsy affect mostly children and can be seen as one of the birth defects. A study was conducted to investigate the plight of children with cerebral palsy (CP) and their families in Moses Kotane Hospital, Bojanala District. This was done as the area of disability is mostly neglected in the helping profession. To gain insight about the nature, types and challenges of CP, availability of services addressing the problems and needs of children with CP and their families as well as people with disabilities are covered in this study. Another objective of this study was to assess social work services provided to children with CP and their families as well as other disciplines like the occupational therapy especially in outreach services. Qualitative research approach was adopted using semi-structured interviews as a method to collect data. Purposive sampling was employed to identify participants and 10 children with cerebral palsy were recruited. These were sourced from the hospital where they were all receiving medical treatment. Themes and sub-themes were developed. The findings confirmed that children with cerebral palsy experience problems that have a negative and direct impact on their families. Psycho-social challenges were identified, constant medical care, special diet, poverty and unemployment pose also a risk as many are from impoverished background. Conclusions in this study indicate that families of children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities encounter many challenges from socialization to general medical care. Further, a multi-disciplinary approach including occupational therapy is essential as well as the role of social workers.
Key words: Disability, Cerebral Palsy, children, plight, social worker, family.
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