Number of children in foster care

There are no official and reliable statistics on children in foster care.

Agency responsible for foster care in Tanzania

Up to 2019 there was no agency responsible for foster care services.


Who can foster in Tanzania?

a)       Citizens of Tanzania (married or single).

b)      Foreigners (married or single) – these are required to have stayed in Tanzania for at least two and half conservative years prior to making applications to become foster carers.

See regulation 5(1)(a)-(d) of the Foster Care Placement Regulations


Are there any restrictions on who can foster in Tanzania?

A foster carer needs to be a person of:

·       age of majority

·       high moral character and integrity

·       sound mind, and

·       not convicted of any criminal offence related to child exploitation, sexual abuse against a child etc rendering it undesirable for the child to associate with that person.

Apparently, a foster carer ought not to be a relative of the child in need of care.

Are there age restrictions on who can foster in Tanzania?

Yes, the minimum age to become a foster carer is 21 years and the maximum age is 64 years. However, under special circumstances a person above the age of 64 years may be allowed to foster a child. (Regulation 5(2) – (4) of the Foster Care Placement Regulations)

Conditions for foster placement

A child may be placed with a foster parent in any of the following circumstances:

a)       a child is under a care order or interim care order

b)      a child has been committed to an approved residential home or institution whether or not under a care order or interim care order.

c)       a child requires temporary custody under a d foster care placement.

Number of children to be fostered by one foster family/ foster carer at a time

Not more than three children at once, unless if there is a written permission of the Commissioner for Social Welfare.

Payment of foster carers

No payment to foster carers

Who provides foster care services?

The Department of Social Welfare

Fostering and kinship support groups

Up to March 2019 there were no such support groups.

However, the regulations on foster care require the department of social welfare in collaboration with any organisation, to support the foster parents to fulfil their responsibilities including providing written information that explains fostering, the legal requirements of foster care placements, foster children and biological parents; and to provide training on meeting the psychosocial needs of foster children  and counselling during foster care placement. (See regulation 14(1) of the Foster Care Placement Regulations, 2012.)

Support for young people ageing out of care

The Department of social welfare is required to support a foster child ageing out of care to find accommodation and employment or further education or vocational training placements.


The Department of Social Welfare Office has to work with the foster parent to provide the foster child with counselling to prepare the child for termination of foster care placement and independent living.

See regulation 14(4) of the Foster Care Placement Regulations, 2012

Relevant legislation

·       The Law of the Child Act, 2009 (Act No. 21 of 2009)

·       The Foster Care Placement Regulations, 2012, Government Notice No. 153 of 2012

·       The Child Protection Regulations, 2014, Government Notice No. 11 of 2015

These are available here.