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The coping strategies of foster parents in Hillbrow, Johannesburg

M.A. / South Africa is facing a high proportion of children in need of care due to the high escalation of HIV/AIDS related illness. Most of the orphaned children are left with either paternal or maternal families. As a result the families are facing challenges to perform “social, emotional, and educational tasks” and to cope with the additional family members. The study was exploratory and aimed to explore the challenges faced by foster parents, and their coping strategies in Johannesburg. The targeted area was Hillbrow. Twelve foster parents namely, three child-headed, three single parents, three in marital relationship and three grandparents headed families were selected from the researcher’s caseload. The goal of the study was to explore the challenges foster parents are experiencing in relation to foster children and to raise awareness of the social services providers concerning these challenges in order for them to take it into account in the planning of programmes or strategies that will assist with the coping mechanisms. The researcher has conducted a literature study on the tasks and responsibilities of foster parents; criteria on selecting foster parents and the demands made on foster parents. Semi-structured interviews were utilised as a data collection method. The interviewees responded in African languages and data was translated to English. The findings from the study were as follows: • Some of the foster parents have a challenge of accommodation in Hillbrow since this area is characterised by overpopulation. For example, they share one bedroomed flat as different families, and they have no privacy. • Some of the children are left in the care of their grandparents who are pensioners. Even though they receive foster care grants to supplement their income, they still unable to meet the teenagers’ needs. • Children react differently after the death of their parents and the following reactions were reported: lack of interest in their studies, crying, and difficulties to adapt to a new environment, withdrawal, attention seeking and anger. • Most of the foster parents are receiving support from the family members while some families are sources of conflict, especially when it comes to Foster Care Grants. • Foster parents have their own different ways of coping with foster care placement such as communication, family support, religion, working hand in hand with the professionals and foster care grants. Conclusions in this study indicated that: • The Department of Social Development should network with the Department of housing to give a priority of providing foster parents with Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) houses. • Workshop Programmes and Support Groups for Foster parents should be established.
Date17 November 2010
CreatorsKgomo, Tlou Martha
Source SetsSouth African National ETD Portal
Detected LanguageEnglish

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