This paper qualitatively explores how foster parents from a religious minority group – more specifically foster parents from the Jewish ultra-orthodox sector in Israel experience the act of fostering through secular welfare services. Central themes that the women raised include religious spiritual beliefs as enhancing positive meaning of the act of foster care: Ambivalence of other women in the community because of fostering through external state services: The husband and religious leader as a central support due to the spiritual meanings of foster care. The central themes in terms of the secular services were their role as a protective financial base for creating a clear contract concerning the foster care as compared to informal fostering within the community and a culturally sanctioned exposure to psychological concepts and secular childcare practices. Lack of understanding of the secular welfare services of the importance of each group within their community was also stated as a challenge. Overall, the findings reveal the complex ways that these ultra-religious women from a very closed community negotiate and integrate resources from within their community and from the secular foster services outside of their community. Implications for creating culturally adapted secular foster services for Ultra-orthodox Jewish women are discussed, as are the methodological implications of exploring phenomenological experience of minority groups of foster care services as a base for culturally sensitive understanding, is discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science