This paper explores the impact of HIV/AIDS on children, using data from a longitudinal household impact study and focus groups conducted in two communities in the Free State province of South Africa. Non?attendance at school among children in general and particularly older children, although relatively low, is disconcerting, being higher in affected than in non?affected households. A large and growing number of children have lost their mother or father, pointing to a substantial and growing orphan problem. The extended family remains central in coping with the orphan crisis, although evidence suggests that it is finding it increasingly difficult to cope. It appears that HIV/AIDS results in children being passed from one household to another, particularly in the event of households experiencing an adult death. Government's current initiative to roll out the child support grant to more children is important in addressing this adverse impact of the epidemic, as will be access to home?based care, improved access to education and health care, the empowerment of women and children, and the establishment of community?based orphan care programs. These measures are crucial for safeguarding the right of our children to a bright and hopeful future.