Annelie Böning, Sandra Ferreira


Foster care is perceived to be the best and most widely applied form of alternative care for children besides their maternal home, because it most often occurs within the family context and is supposed to offer safety and protection to children. Despite the various advantages that foster care offers, it is known that foster care practice worldwide – including in South Africa – is suffering from serious deficiencies. Therefore it is questionable whether it serves the best interests of the child at all times and whether the principle of social justice is adhered to. As Bass, Shields and Behrman (2004:5) state:
“For too many of these children, foster care is no safe haven. Instead, the children drift from foster home to foster home, lingering in care while awaiting a permanent, forever family.”

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