Experiences of Formal Foster Parents in Ghana: Motivations and Challenges
Keywords:Ghana, foster care, children, motivation, challenges, child welfare reform
In Ghana, the reform of the child welfare system is shifting the care of orphans and vulnerable children from residential care to foster care. However, the system has faced difficulties in recruiting foster parents. Therefore, this qualitative research explored the motivations and challenges of foster parents in Accra, Ghana. A total of 15 foster parents took part in semi-structured interviews that were analysed using an inductive thematic approach. The study found that the participants undertook the role of fostering because of their love for children, religious and social obligations, and satisfaction of personal goals. Challenges experienced by the foster parents included stigma, financial challenges, and emotional issues as a result of fostering children. The recommendations of the study which aim to help in dealing with the challenges that confront foster parents include the provision of financial resources, sensitisation campaigns to reduce the stigma, and the creation of foster parent associations to help with the emotional issues.
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