"A Child Is a Child": Fostering Experiences in Northwestern Cameroon



Past research comparing fostered and nonfostered children's welfare in sub-Saharan Africa has led to inconsistent results. One reason for this disparity might be that children's experiences are shaped more by the circumstances in which they are fostered than by merely being raised away from their parents. This article examines how fostered children in one urban community in northwestern Cameroon spend time relative to their nonfostered peers and, by grouping fostered children according to fostering circumstances, how they spend time relative to one another. Analysis of children's activities suggests little variance between the experiences of fostered and nonfostered children, but significant differences among fostered children. These results are interpreted using children's views of activities, and the potential consequences of children's relative integration in foster households are discussed.