Exploring trust and loyalty within grandparent-headed families on the Cape Flats and the impact of the church, as social support

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Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This exploratory research study investigated trust and loyalty within grandparent-headed families on the Cape flats, and the impact of the church as social support. The study draws on the dialogical intergenerational pastoral process as a theoretical framework, which allows one to better understand the complexities and perplexities of relational ethics and the importance of people within the networks of relationships. It especially focuses on relations between the past, present and future generations. The dialogical intergenerational pastoral process is a theory advocated in practical theology and family pastoral care, even though it is not limited to focusing on family. This theoretical framework captures the essence of this research study and preferred population approached, which were grandparents who are primary caregivers to their grandchildren. The research methodology which undergirds this thesis is Osmer’s four tasks of practical theology. This practical theology research methodology speaks to the structure of this empirical study yet also serves as a clear reminder of the field of importance within this study which is practical theology with a specific focus on pastoral care. Osmer offers guidance for practical theology researchers on the journey of conducting an empirical research study by looking at the four tasks, 1.) the descriptive-empirical 2.) the interpretive task 3.) the Normative task and 4.) The pragmatic task. These tasks were all fitted to specific research aspects within this thesis. This study was conducted in two church congregations established on the Cape Flats. Although congregants approached come from different areas on the Cape Flats, this means of conducting research is considered a case study format, as it only relies on the perspectives of participants within two churches. The participants included 14 grandparents who are primary caregivers in a grandparent-headed family. The two focus groups conducted at the two consecutive churches, occurred after ethical clearance was approved, informed consent was received from participants and recruitment letters were signed by church leaders involved. Data was gathered using semi-structured open-ended interview questions in the focus group setting. Thematic analysis was used to analyse audio-tape data. Participation from grandparents were voluntarily and participants remain anonymous. In the write-up of this thesis, participants were given pseudonyms and were referred to as participant A-N at the start of all their interview responses. Findings were discussed in relation to the literature review, and the theoretical framework utilized. The goal of the research was not to determine or predict a hypothesis or to solve a problem. The purpose of the study was to explore trust and loyalty within grandparent-headed families, and to reflect on how these families view the impact of their local church on their significant family relationships within their immediate grandparent-headed family. The objectives and main goals were to investigate the empirical findings of the study by using the dialogical intergenerational pastoral process. The study further aimed to create awareness of grandparent-headed families, provide practical recommendations and to lead the church and its leaders to better assist grandparent-headed families relationally and through pastoral care. The findings divulge the different perspectives and experiences of trust and loyalty which exist between family members of grandparent-headed families who reside on the Cape flats. The study further relays how grandparent-headed families perceive, receive and experience the church as a haven of support- spiritually, relationally, pastorally- and also how they hope to be understood as a unique family type.
Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.
Grandparents as parents -- South Africa -- Cape Flats, Grandparent and child -- South Africa -- Cape Flats, Families, Kinship care, UCTD