Therapeutic recreation as a developing profession in South Africa
Young, Marie E. M.
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South Africa experiences socio-economic challenges with a high prevalence of poverty resulting in disability and non-communicable diseases affecting the health and welfare of communities. Health services are not always accessible or available to citizens, especially those of previously disadvantaged or rural communities. The South African National Plan for Development 2030 aims to address these inequality and health issues. One focus area of this plan is the inclusion of recreation, leisure and sport as an important service sector to improve the health and well-being of all individuals. Therapeutic recreation could play an important role in this regard. In South Africa, therapeutic recreation is in its developmental stages. This paper aims to provide the reader with an overview of therapeutic recreation in South Africa as a developing profession. An overview of the current status of the profession is discussed in terms of standard of practice and as it relates to health professions and recreation service providers, programmes with therapeutic value and training needs. The study concludes that there is still groundwork to be done, calling for interested parties to embark on an aggressive advocacy and strategic planning process to develop therapeutic recreation as a profession in South Africa.