This paper reports on a post-intervention qualitative evaluation of the pilot intervention of the AmaQhawe Family Project, in South Africa, which is a cartoon-based, manualised intervention delivered to multiple family groups over 10 sessions, aimed at preventing HIV in adolescents through strengthening the adult protective shield. Semi-structured interviews with nine women who had participated in the pilot intervention were used to understand participants' perceptions of how the family-based HIV-prevention programme had assisted in addressing the issues identified in a pre-intervention exploratory study. Analysis of the data was informed by community health psychology and social capital theory. The findings indicate that at an individual level, the women interviewed had experienced an improved sense of empowerment, both as parents and as women. They also reported increased social support for effective parenting. At a collective level, the women reported that the programme had helped them to exert better informal social controls within the community, as well as to increase their social leverage and participation in community organisations. The findings suggest that HIV interventions involving families can strengthen the adult protective shield to facilitate health-enabling social contexts for youth.