The status of West Africa’s fostered children (WITHDRAWN)

Ama Baafra Abeberese, Columbia University
Pearl Kyei, Population Council

Social parenting in sub-Saharan Africa protects children’s well-being and mediates inequality by supplementing parental resources, especially for poorer children whose nuclear families have resource constraints. However, the motivation of host households to invest in fostered children’s welfare will determine the extent to which children benefit from fostering. This paper uses data on school-age children from 10 West African countries in the third round (2005-2007) of the Multiple International Cluster Surveys (MICS) to study variation in child welfare by foster status. We use household fixed effect models to predict three indicators of welfare – schooling, time use, and disciplinary practices. The findings indicate that foster status generally has a negative association with child welfare, an effect which varies by country. This disadvantage is driven mainly by children not living in parent-headed households. Within countries, both household and demographic characteristics contribute to the differences in welfare by foster status.

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Presented in Session 111: Child fosterage and adoption