Expenditure patterns of kin foster parents in Lethabong Township, North West Province
Tladi, Olebogeng Aurica
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The study focused on how the foster parents in Lethabong utilise the foster child grant which they receive in respect of their foster children. Foster care is a temporary arrangement made to care for children whose parents are not able to care for them due to reasons such as death, imprisonment, divorce, alcoholism or any psychosocial challenge that makes it difficult to care for their children. The state steps in temporarily while reconstruction services or a suitable alternative placement is arranged. A grant is given to foster parents to provide for the needs of foster children as outlined in the Children’s Act No 13 of 2005 as amended. This study explored the expenditure patterns of the foster parents and examined the perspectives of other knowledge holders who are in close proximity with the foster families. Emphasis is on how the above Act is implemented in terms of caring for children. A qualitative approach was adopted to gather rich data and gain a deep understanding. A non-probability, purposive sampling was used for a sample of twenty participants. The criteria for selection included being a foster parent, foster child and lived in the selected area of study. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis was used. The findings revealed that it is not only foster parents who make decisions about this grant but their foster children too. It appeared that there is consensus and cooperation between them, however, some key informants in the study disagreed. On the one hand, the key informants expressed a view that some foster parents do not spend the grant as expected and tend to misuse it. On the other hand, the foster parents indicated that the grant is used for the needs of their foster children but also for the children’s wants as a form of positive reinforcement. In addition, the parents stated that they fully comprehend that the grant is meant to assist in the upbringing of the foster children and not as an extra income to the parent or their households. These findings from the children and their parents reflect an acceptable way of living and of spending the grant. The foster care grant may be the only chance for some children to grow up within the family unit. This is due to the admission by some parents that they struggle to raise their own children without an income. The study concludes that the grant be increased as the current amount does not meet all the children’s needs social workers should intensify monitoring processes in order to curb the misuse of the grant.
- Humanities