Child Fostering in Sub-Saharan Africa: What Has Changed over Time?

Cassandra Cotton, Arizona State University

Child fostering has been documented over time in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa. We know little, however, about how the prevalence of fostering differs across countries and broad regions, nor about how fostering – and its predictors – have changed within countries over time. To explore prevalence, trends, and predictors of child fostering, I leverage Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data from 132 surveys in 38 countries collected between 1986 and 2017, representing all regions of sub-Saharan Africa. Preliminary results suggest significant variation in the prevalence of fostering, ranging from 2.8% of children in Sudan to 34.3% in Namibia. Fostering trends have changed significantly over time in the majority of countries, with nearly one-third of countries experiencing a significant increase over time. Early results suggest that while the prevalence of fostering has changed over time in many countries, predictors have largely remained the same.

See paper.

  Presented in Session 55. Family and Marriage in Sub-Saharan Africa: Transformation And Consequences