Journal of
African Studies and Development

  • Abbreviation: J. Afr. Stud. Dev
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2189
  • DOI: 10.5897/JASD
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 218

Full Length Research Paper

Foster care ontologies: A qualitative study in Zimbabwe

Musavengana W. T. Chibwana
  • Musavengana W. T. Chibwana
  • Senior Child Protection Officer, African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, African Union, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 02 September 2019
  •  Accepted: 07 October 2019
  •  Published: 31 October 2019


Both the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child place premium on having children grow up in families. Foster care is one of the opportunities that can be used to ensure that children grow up in families on the African continent and Zimbabwe in particular. There are however some minefields which have to be explored carefully. The paper dedicates some attention to inhibitive cultural dimensions that have to be tackled delicately in promoting foster care. The paper also debunks the thinking that foster care is a destination in itself by showing the lived realities of children in foster homes. This has been done by exploring ontologies of foster care in the context of Zimbabwe. General typologies of foster parents are given showing the nexus between quality of life for children and the types of foster parents. A qualitative research design was employed, where the data were collected through exploratory tools namely focus group discussions, key informant interviews and in-depth interviews.


Key words: Quality of life, child right, foster care, children, foster parents, child protection.