Differential Probabilities of Foster Child Residence across Households during the African AIDS Epidemic

Lauren Bachan, Facebook

Child fostering--the sending of children to be reared by non-natal families for a temporary period of time--is a social institution that plays a pivotal role in safeguarding children and families in sub-Saharan Africa. The AIDS epidemic and resulting surge in the number of orphans in the region has raised considerable questions about whether child fostering systems are being overwhelmed. By examining the differential probabilities of fostering across households, this study establishes the normative patterns of fostering across socio-economic groups in 20 sub-Saharan African countries. It then goes on to examine if and how those patterns change over the course of each country's unique AIDS epidemic. Despite evidence of struggle in certain countries, results, on the whole, indicate the remarkable resilience of fostering systems in the majority of countries, despite high adult HIV prevalence levels.

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Presented in Session 237: Determinants and Implications of Intergenerational Co-Residence across the World