This morning I googled the phrase, “theology of fostering”. The results page returned the following hits:
7 adverts for fostering agencies/recruitment
5 links to sources that use fostering as a verb to develop something (e.g., ‘A theology of fostering ecclesial communities’), so not relevant
And that’s it: I’m not just talking about the first page of hits; those are all the hits!
The same search on Amazon results in, ‘Your search “”theology of fostering”” did not match any products.
The questions this (admittedly) rather crude pair of searches suggests is:
Where on earth is all the theological reflection on fostering?!?
What is the ‘status’ of theological thinking on fostering? Is it derivative of our thinking on adoption? If so, are we selling foster carers short by not providing a rigorous and specific framework for understanding fostering theologically? Obviously fostering and adoption are very closely linked but is there nothing that could, or needs, to be said theologically that is unique to fostering?
How do we develop excellent theological thinking and resources specifically on fostering that will resource the Church?
I have some ideas but I’d love to know what you think!