Child Fosterage in Namibia: the impact of informal care arrangements on children's health and welfare

Vicky Sharley*, Emma Leonard*, Janetta Ananias*, Heather C Ottaway*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

This paper reports the findings from a small qualitative study into child fosterage undertaken in Namibia in 2019. The research project is a collaboration between academics at the University of Namibia, Africa, and the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. Workshops were undertaken in Windhoek the capital city of Namibia with five groups including stakeholders and policymakers, children’s practitioners, social workers, parents and carers, and children. The workshops ascertained the thoughts, understandings and individual experiences about child fosterage practice from personal and professional perspectives focusing on the impact of child fosterage upon children’s health and welfare. This paper contributes new and rich insights into the impact of informal care arrangements upon children’s health and welfare. Findings contribute understanding about why child fosterage arrangements are needed, how they negotiated, and how they are experienced by children. Aside from recognizing the complex cultural variations in Namibia’s diverse ethnic groups, findings emphasize the multi-level contextual influences of fosterage practice, and the absence of children’s participation in decisions that govern informal arrangements for their care. With the recent implementation of the Child Care and Protection Act 3 of 2015 and the Act’s emphasis on children’s participation, rights and responsibilities, this paper makes a timely call for the inclusion of children’s voices and wishes in the processes that affect their care and welfare - congruent with article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and article 7 of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105368
Number of pages12
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Volume118
Early online date24 Aug 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020

Structured keywords

  • SPS Children and Families Research Centre
  • children
  • Welfare
  • Fosterage
  • Parenting
  • Partcipation
  • Care

Keywords

  • children
  • welfare
  • fosterage
  • informal care
  • participation
  • Nambia

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Child Fosterage in Namibia: the impact of informal care arrangements on children's health and welfare'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this