Exploring the Experiences of Biological Children Living with Foster Children





biological children, foster-care placement, foster children, foster parents, experiences


The aim of the study was to explore the living experiences of biological children in homes with foster children in Zwelitsha, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Qualitative in nature, the study used a sample of 30 participants and data were collected through semi-structured interviews. Purposive sampling was used to select biological children. Consent to participate in the study was obtained from both the participating children and their parents. Data were analysed according to themes that emerged from the interviews. The findings of the study revealed that fostering had both a positive and negative impact on biological children. Furthermore, the findings indicated that there were also children who had ambivalent experiences. The positive effects on biological children come from gaining new experiences from foster children while the negative and ambivalent experiences might emanate from poor preparation by their parents and social workers during the process of foster-care placement. It is concluded that foster-care placement has both positive and negative effects on the lives of biological children of foster parents. It is recommended that an early and detailed discussion that includes all stages of the foster-care placement be undertaken by foster parents together with their biological children before they decide to take in foster children.


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Author Biography

Zintle Ntshongwana, University of Fort Hare

Social work, student




How to Cite

Ntshongwana, Zintle, and Pius Tanga. 2018. “Exploring the Experiences of Biological Children Living With Foster Children”. Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development 30 (2):14 pages. https://doi.org/10.25159/2415-5829/3049.



Received 2017-08-10
Accepted 2018-07-14
Published 2018-10-05