Child fostering and children's nutritional outcomes in rural Mali : the role of female status in directing child transfers.
Research in West Africa has begun to document the phenomenon of child fostering although little attention has focussed on other types of non-maternal child care arrangements and their impact on child health.
Evidence from a sample of 77 weaned children under five in rural Mali found that over one third (35%) of children were not the prime responsibility of both their biological parents.
Nineteen per cent (N=15) of the sample were formally fostered children, known as sukaabe bambaabe, who lived neither with their biological mothers nor with their biological fathers.
Others lived under flexible or semi-permanent non-maternal care arrangements both within and outside the agnatic family.
Factors precipitating fostering are outlined and are divided into : (i) those under which the child is fostered away from its biological family through force of circumstance ; and (ii) those under which the child is actively requested by its foster mother.
Rather than fostering providing a universal option for over-burdened mothers with too many or too closely-spaced children, the field evidence shows that the movement of children within and between households is rigorously controlled by the female social hierarchy.
Children are transferred in a uni-directional fashion from the care of their low status biological mothers to high status foster mothers.
Mots-clés Pascal : Placement familial, Enfant, Santé, Nutrition, Statut social, Mère, Statut socioéconomique, Soin, Milieu rural, Mali, Homme, Afrique
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Foster care placement, Child, Health, Nutrition, Social status, Mother, Socioeconomic status, Care, Rural environment, Mali, Human, Africa
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 95-0140036
Code Inist : 002B30A01A2. Création : 09/06/1995.