This Place is better than my Home': Anecdotes on child fosterage and child domestic work in three Districts in Northern Ghana

G Owusu, Francis Adjei
2008 Ghana Social Science Journal   unpublished
Fosterage in West Africa is peculiar and has key benefits. This study, which was conducted in three districts in the Upper East and Northern regions of Ghana, uses qualitative in-depth interviews to fill some essential gaps in the study of fosterage. Unlike most studies on the phenomenon, ours provide perspectives from both the foster children and the receiving parents, and employs cultural relativism to analyze the data. The findings supported several past studies on the subject-fosterage was
more » ... ject-fosterage was being done as a social service within the context of the extended family mainly and nearly all the foster children were girls. Crisis fosterage was predominant. Although both children and foster parents/guardians seemed to have some challenges, all the children said that they fared better in the foster homes, compared to their biological homes. This was not without financial strains to the foster parents. We found an eclectic mixture of previous explanatory frameworks proposed for child fosterage in the sub-region. Policy implications of our findings are given.