HEY BABY: Helping Empower Youth Brought up in Adversity with their Babies and Young children

Project outline

The HEY BABY study aims to assess resilience-promoting pathways for adolescent parent families living in adversity, including young parents living in resource-constrained, HIV-affected communities. It asks two groups of research questions: What puts adolescent parents and their children at risk of disadvantage? What services can help adolescent parents and their children? This research guides policy and programming in HIV and adolescent health.

This study utilises a mixed methodology to capture the complexity of resilience combining adolescent parent and child data. It utilises two research streams conducted concurrently: qualitative and quantitative. The HEY BABY cohort of over 1,000 parent-child dyads living in severe adversity in South Africa is nested within a larger longitudinal observational cohort study, Mzantsi Wakho - the world’s largest longitudinal cohort of adolescents living with HIV.

The HEY BABY study was designed and conceptualised in collaboration with South African Departments of Health, Basic Education, and Social Development, UNICEF and UNFPA, the World Health Organisation, REPSSI, Paediatric AIDS Treatment for Africa, and community-based organisations: the Keiskamma Trust, Kheth’Impilo, Beyond Zero, the Relevance Network and Small Projects Foundation.