The life experiences of foster parents who nurture foster children in Zwelitsha, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa
The aim of this paper was to examine the life experiences of foster parents who are nurturing foster children. Qualitative method was employed in the study and snowball sampling was used in the selection of the participants. Two focus group discussions were held; each with 10 foster parents and data was thematically analyzed. The findings revealed the provision of foster care to have both positive and negative effects. It can be concluded that it is important for social workers to understand care giving as it occurs in a variety of contexts. They also need to be aware and understanding of the value and role that foster parents play in the lives of vulnerable children. The paper recommends that foster parents should form support groups to discuss their experiences in foster care and ways to solve problems. Social workers should assess foster parents before and after placement and should provide services.
Keywords: Foster parents; Cultures; African values; Foster care placement; Social worker; Biological children