Teen Advisory Group (TAG)

In 2008, the Young Carers SA research group established the Teen Advisory Group (TAG). This board  of 14 young carers were invited as stakeholders on the design of the Young Carers study, along side other stakeholders such as communities, NGOs, academics and government.. Since then, annual TAG weekends away have been held where TAG members continue to advise on the content and conduct of research.

Check out the "TAG Young Carers" video below!

The children who made this video are members of our Teen Advisory Group. These are not the children's real names. The making of this film was approved by University Research Ethics Committees. All children and caregivers gave informed consent. Please contact the Young Carers SA research group if you have any questions.


  • Approval & Support: We work closely with the South African government as well as local community and political leaders to ensure we have their full approval and support. Research findings are disseminated to communities on an on-going basis.
  • Services: We also work closely with direct services providers such as: Cape Town Child Welfare, Tholulwazi Uzivikele Project, Ikamva Labantu, Planned Parenthood South Africa, and Isibindi.
  • Capacity-building: All staff receive ongoing training in skills-development, CV design, IT skills and career planning. Our TAG members also attend capacity-building work-shops.

Policies and Programmes

The Young Carers SA research group is specifically aimed at informing policies and programming for children and adults affected by HIV/AIDS and their communities, and has done so with: 

  • South Africa National Adolescent and Youth Health PolicyNational Adolescent and Youth Health Policy 2017 was approved by the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, in August 2017.
  • South African Department of Basic Education: Citations in, 'A Draft Strategy on Psychosocial Support for Learners and Educators'
  • Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC): Featured as a case study for ESRC Framework for Research Ethics 
  • Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014: Featured as a case study for future REFs
  • USAID Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC): Citations in session on 'Educational Support for Families Affected by HIV'
  • PEPFAR-USAID: Featured in 'PEPFAR Special Initiative for reducing HIV in adolescent girls - Core Intervention Package' 
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP): Cited in, discussion paper on Cash Transfers and HIV Prevention
  • European Research Council (ERC): Featured as case study
  • Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC): Featured for ethical implications and actual issues encountered in conducting research with vulnerable children
  • UNAIDS: Citations in 'What will it take to eliminate sexual transmission by 2030'
  • UNAIDS: Citations in, 'PCB Thematic segment: Addressing social and economic drivers of HIV through social protection'
  • UNICEF: Citations in report on, 'Protection, Care and Support for an AIDS free Generation: A call to action for all children'
  • South African government: National Action Plan for Children Affected by HIV and AIDS
  • South African Department of Social Development: PSS guidelines for Home & Community-Based Caregivers
  • South African Department of Social Development: Lifeskills program for Youth-Headed Households
  • South African Department of Social Development: Capacity-building Community Caregivers & childcare forums
  • South African Department of Basic Education: National Schools Nutrition Program
  • South African Departments of Social Development and Department of Health: Support groups for AIDS-affected children
  • South African Department of Basic Education: National Schools Safety Policy
  • Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI): Training programme for lay workers to support Young Carers
  • Save the Children: White Paper on Child Protection in the context of HIV and AIDS
  • South African Departments of Social Development and Department of Health: National Strategic Plan for HIV and AIDS and TB 2012-16
  • Southern African Development Community (SADC) (Ministerial Plan): Minimum Package of Services for Orphans and Vulnerable Children
  • Government of Lesotho: Review of Services for AIDS-affected Children
  • UNICEF: UNICEF HIV-sensitive Social Protection Plans