Group care in South Africa

Group care implementation sites in South Africa

One of the implementation sites in South Africa will be Cape Town. A second site will be announced soon!



The rapid assessment for South Africa took place in the summer of 2021.

After this, the group care model was adapted to the context at the implementation sites in South Africa in collaboration with the local research team.


In 2022 the site received the group care training.


Group care has started in the Mobray hospital in January 2023.


Results of the project are expected in 2024

Who will benefit from group care in South Africa?

South Africa is one of the world's most unequal countries. 

Women and children pay the ultimate price of poverty as they disproportionately experience food insecurity, irregular income, poor education and health care.

Group care during the first 1000 days aims for more equality in antenatal care.


Are you interested in group care for pregnant women and postnatal group care for families? Please contact the research team in South Africa: 

Dr Shanaaz Mathews

Country lead | WP 6 lead

Dr Shanaaz Mathews will take on the role of public health specialist for the University of Cape Town’s Children’s Institute. She is a Professor in Public Health in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town and the director of the Children’s Institute. She has extensive experience in leading, conceptualization and implementation of National Epidemiological Studies such as the female and child homicides in South Africa as well as mixed methods studies such as understanding of mental health adjustment post sexual assault and as well as the role childhood adversity plays in the formation of violent masculinities in South Africa (see papers 1-3). She has led an EU-funded evaluation of a therapeutic programme for sexually abused children in rural parts of South Africa, to assess its efficacy to meet the mental health needs of children and their caregivers. She is also called on by the South African government for her technical expertise and has led the determinants of violence against women and children study for the South African Inter-ministerial parliamentary committee and has served as a technical advisor on South Africa’s Diagnostic Review of Government Programmes to address violence against women and children.

Lizette Berry

Country lead | WP 6 lead

Lizette Berry will lead the research and project management activities, in particular in-country partnership development, and intervention implementation and evaluation. She is a senior research officer at the Children’s Institute, Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town for more than a decade. Lizette is a qualified social worker and has extensive experience in social policy development and implementation within the South African context. Her research has included evaluating early childhood programmes, child protection and therapeutic interventions for traumatised children, and parenting support programmes for adolescent parents in low-income communities. Lizette has contributed to several policy development processes including the national Integrated Early Childhood Development Policy and Programme, the White Paper on Families and the Southern African Development Communities’ policy framework on Care and Support for Teaching and Learning. Lizette was recently called on by the national department of health to contribute to a technical task team to conceptualize the implementation of the new road-to-health booklet for children birth-to-5 years. She has competently managed several research projects.

Dr Wiedaad Slemming

Dr Wiedaad Slemming is a senior lecturer in the Division of Community Paediatrics at the University of the Witwatersrand. Her role comprises of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and curriculum   development, research and technical advisory work in the field of maternal and child health. She currently serves on a number of national and provincial child health and disability technical and advisory groups and is a member of two ministerial level advisory committees, i.e. the National Advisory Group on Immunisation (NAGI) and the Disability Advisory Committee to Statistics South Africa. Her particular areas of expertise and research include child health, early childhood development, child disability and health systems strengthening. She also has extensive clinical and programmatic experience in child health and development, as well as in the development, implementation and review of programmes and policies, both in South Africa and internationally. Her research focus includes promoting early childhood development during pregnancy.