Unfavourable socio-economic and psychosocial changes, globally and locally, have forced communities to place an increasing number of adolescents in foster care, or take the necessary steps to accommodate them in orphanages. The drastic interventions had many unsettling consequences. South African orphanages were inundated with orphaned and removed children, and foster care was a constructive alternative. Research results have shown that, for children to develop normally, they have to be cared for in cordial and constructive family structures (Republic of South Africa, Department of Social Development, 2009).
The present study was exploratory and aimed to explore the challenges faced by foster mothers who were fostering the adolescents at the time of interviewing, as well as coping strategies employed by foster mothers in their task of fostering. The target areas were Mamelodi and Atteridgeville Townships in the Tshwane/Pretoria Region. Twenty foster mothers were selected from a list of foster mothers received from social workers and semi-structured interviews were conducted with these 20 respondents. Respondents? narratives were translated from Setswana and North Sotho to English. Data was transcribed and analysed by means of Thematic Network Analysis. Four core themes were extracted, namely Crisis, Structure, Relationships, and Resilience and Spirituality. These themes were discussed and linked to the tenets of Positive Psychology and literature sources, and communicated to social workers, foster mothers and legislators.