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.