Non-Kinship Foster Care in Nigeria: Socioeconomic and demographic drivers of mothers’ willingness to foster

Stanley Oloji Isangha, Tosin Yinka Akintunde, Cherry Hau Lin Tam, Wai Man Anna Choi

Research in Africa indicates an increasing number of children needing a secure and stable alternative family environment, yet the commonly used kinship care system is insufficient to meet this need requiring the support of non-kinship care. This study examined the socioeconomic and demographic drivers of willingness to foster non-kin children among mothers in Nigeria.

Data from 779 mothers of children ages 2-10 were analyzed using Pearson correlation matrix and linear regression analysis to examine the associations among socioeconomic/demographic characteristics and willingness to foster.

Attributes of the mothers such as region, neighborhood (rural or urban), education, occupation, and age are some determinants of willingness to foster, which also varies across children with special needs, diversity, and under six. Efforts to improve non-kinship foster care in Nigeria should consider mothers’ socioeconomic and demographic attributes when seeking to attract foster parents.

The findings of this study provide implications for research, social work practice, and education in Nigeria and Africa.