Exploring the Psychosocial Experiences of Foster Parents Caring for Adolescents Presenting with Risk Behaviour





attachment styles, foster parenting behaviour, parenting stress, risk behaviour


In this article, we focus on a study that aimed at gaining insight into foster parents’ psychosocial experiences in fostering adolescents presenting with risk behaviour. Foster parents were recruited from two districts in the North West province in South Africa. To achieve the study aim, we believed that a qualitative approach, utilising an exploratory descriptive design, was the most suitable. The data were collected using semi-structured interviews with a group of 32 purposively selected foster parents caring for adolescents between the ages of 14 and 17 years. The data collection continued until data saturation had been reached. A content analysis revealed that foster parents have a range of lived experiences in caring for adolescents presenting with risk behaviour, including the ability to effectively deal and cope with fostered adolescents’ emotional and behavioural needs. Based on the findings, we recommend specialised parenting interventions that are directed at enhancing foster parents’ skills in dealing with both emotional and psychological difficulties faced by adolescents who enter foster care.


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Author Biography

Hanelie Malan, North-West University



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How to Cite

Mmusi, Fatima, and Hanelie Malan. 2023. “Exploring the Psychosocial Experiences of Foster Parents Caring for Adolescents Presenting With Risk Behaviour”. Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development 35 (1):20 pages. https://doi.org/10.25159/2708-9355/9907.



Received 2021-08-12
Accepted 2022-10-06
Published 2023-05-09