Cluster foster care: a panacea for the care of children in the era of HIV/Aids or an MCQ?
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The ravages wrought by HIV/AIDS on child-care arrangements in the African context are well documented (Richter & Sherr, 2009; Sloth-Nielsen & Mezmur, 2008; Tsegaye, 2007; sources cited there). Notably, these constitute the breakdown of traditional kinship structures which would ordinarily have accommodated orphans and other vulnerable children, a decrease in the capacity of existing extended family structures to care for the numbers of children requiring alternative care, and the emergence of child-headed households. The topic of child-headed households, too, has emerged as a key concept in international child rights law (Couzens & Zaal, 2009; Sloth-Nielsen, 2004; Sloth-Nielsen in Skelton & Davel, 2010; UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC), General Comment No. 3 on HIV/ AIDS and the rights of the child, 2003), and this phenomenon has been directly related to the onset of the pandemic.