The availability of foster care resources in the Free State Province : a social work assessment
Kok, Magdelena Cornelia
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A large number of children find themselves in foster care situations in South Africa with placements that have to be monitored by social workers. This is a demanding task, given the nature of foster placements and the high caseloads of social workers responsible for monitoring of foster placements. Although a wealth of information on resource management is to be found in the prevailing literature, no comparative volume of information is to be found on foster care resources in child welfare in particular. A model for resource management in this field must still be developed. In view of this and considering the role occupied by the researcher in the Kerklike Maatskaplike Diens: Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa, it was decided to embark on a research project investigating the use of resources in the field of child welfare, specifically with foster care social workers. The aim of the study is to assess whether adequate resources are available. The availability and utilisation of resources in the field of child welfare is under-researched and a resource management system for this purpose should still be developed. The research results indicated that social workers monitoring foster care placements have high caseloads and that resources, even though they are utilised to a certain extent, are not always accessible or effective. The most important learning needs were related to organisational, community and professional resources that could be considered unrealistic, ineffective, inaccessible and not feasible in most circumstances. Further main challenges are a lack of resources and time, a lack of co-operation from the foster parents and the biological parents respectively and the shortage of foster care social workers in South Africa.
- Health Sciences 
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