An exploration of experiences of foster parents raising African foster care children with absent fathers
The phenomenon of absent fathers is not uniquely a South African problem but it is a global issue affecting numerous countries such as Norway, the United States of America as well as other African countries such as Nigeria, Swaziland Botswana to mention a few. Levels of paternal absence in South Africa seem particularly high in comparison to estimates for many other African countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The absence of fathers in their children’s lives leave children vulnerable after their biological mothers pass on and are subsequently placed in foster care as a measure of protecting and securing the child. The primary aim of this study was to explore the experiences of foster parents raising African foster care children with absent fathers in the Mpumalanga Province in Gert Sibande region, Msukaligwa sub-district. This study used a qualitative approach with an exploratory design. The research instrument that was used was an interview schedule and the data collection method that was employed was face-to-face semi structured interview. Data were analysed through thematic content analysis. The participants in the study comprised of 20 foster care parents aged from 25 years old and above. The main findings of this study were that foster parents seemed to perceive fathers as economic providers and most of them expressed that their absence seemed to be felt especially when it comes to the lack of financial provision. In addition to financial hardships, emotional and cultural hardships were also identified. The study recommends that more studies of this nature need to be done in order to come up with intervention strategies that governments need to use in order to release some of the strains faced by foster parents who are raising African children in foster care. The conclusion of the study is that South African families require attention, considering that father absence has taken a toll. The ripple effect of father’s failure to be present in their children’s lives and support their children will increase the number of children depending on state interventions such as foster care placements.
Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the Master of Social Work degree Social Development the department of Social Work School of Human and Community Development Faculty of Humanities at the University of Witwatersrand 2017
Khaba, Vuyisile (2018) An exploration of experiences of foster parents raising African foster care children with absent fathers, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, https://hdl.handle.net/10539/26019