The dynamics of foster care in the Kingdom of Eswatini: Benefits, challenges, and strategies for effective foster parenting




Foster care, adaptation, foster parenting, fostered children, Kingdom of Eswatini


The study investigated the experience and challenges faced by children raised by foster parents in the Kingdom of Eswatini. It employed a Participatory Action Research (PAR) design guided by a transformative paradigm, which was fitting as it necessitated the direct participation of those being researched in the data generation process. A sample size of 15 participants was conveniently selected from the target population. Two research instruments, focus group discussions and interviews, were used to collect data, as they enabled the researchers to gather meaningful information through the participants' lived experiences. The Cultural History Activity Theory (CHAT) served as the theoretical framework for the study. The findings indicated that foster children experienced improved living standards, received attention to their emotional needs, enjoyed safety, and had access to care at the foster home. However, challenges such as adaptation issues, psychological difficulties, family disruption, and reintegration were prevalent among children in foster homes. Strategies identified from the study included training, assessment, reintegration, establishment of a legal framework, and assistance. The study concludes that while children raised in foster care often have better living standards, they may develop a dependency syndrome, making it challenging for them to adapt to life after ageing out of foster care.

Author Biographies

Phumuzani Mpofu, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
School of Human and Community Development
Department of Psychology
Faculty of Humanity
University of Witwatersrand, South Africa

Tatenda Thelma Machingauta, Midlands State University, Zimbabwe
Department of Psychology
Faculty of social sciences
Midlands State University, Zimbabwe


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How to Cite

Mpofu, P., & Machingauta, T. T. (2024). The dynamics of foster care in the Kingdom of Eswatini: Benefits, challenges, and strategies for effective foster parenting . Interdisciplinary Journal of Rural and Community Studies, 6, 1-16.