Child-headed households have become a growing problem in South Africa and throughout the rest of Africa. Due to the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, children are expected to raise their siblings and run the household, when their parents die. Other causes that have led to child-headed households include natural disasters, war, and civil strife. This of course happens mostly in rural areas. Worry and responsibility for providing food is the most basic problem these children face among many.
The issue here is now that these children might fall into similar patterns most of their parents followed. When they stay home caring for their siblings, they drop out of school. Without any education and struggling to provide for the family, these girls and often boys, might engage in risky behaviour that might result in them contracting HIV/AIDS themselves. This then starts the cycle all over again.