Perceived effects of prolonged residential care for children: Botswana experience
The study determined the perceived effects of prolonged residential care for children in Botswana. The study adopted qualitative descriptive research design. Data was collected through focus group discussions and face-to-face in-depth interviews from purposefully selected participants, based on their experience in child welfare and interactions with the children under study. The study obtained ethical clearance from the University of Botswana Institutional Review Board, and a research permit was acquired from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development. Informed consent was also obtained prior to data collection. The study findings point out that, residential care for children should be utilised on temporary basis and/or only if it is necessary and in the best interest of the child. In addition, the findings show that other family-based care comprising foster care; kinship care and adoption are preferred alternatives. To this end, it’s imperative for all relevant stakeholders to develop context-specific strategies to address prolonged residential care for children.
Keywords: Child welfare, child protection, prolonged care, social work, Botswana