Using market segmentation to gain insight into reasons for not fostering caring



Publication Details

Randle, M. J., Miller, L. M., Dolnicar, S. & Ciarrochi, J. V. (2010). Using market segmentation to gain insight into reasons for not fostering caring. In H. Yeatman (Eds.), The SInet 2010 eBook (pp. 147-156). Wollongong: SInet UOW.


Australia is facing a significant shortage of foster carers, yet little is known about themain reasons which prevent people from becoming foster carers. This study contributes tofilling this gap in knowledge. A survey of 897 respondents who have never been fostercarers indicates that ¿ at the aggregate level ¿ the main reasons that people do not becomecarers are that: (i) they do not know anything about foster care; (ii) they are busy withtheir own children or with work or family/friends commitments; and (iii) they have notbeen asked by anyone to be a foster carer. However, if we use market segmentation togroup individuals according to whether they would consider fostering in the future or not,then the results indicate that those who would not consider fostering are too busy withfamily/friend commitments, have no interest in children, and feel that taking a child wastoo big a commitment to make. These are all reasons that cannot easily be influenced orchanged. In contrast, people who would consider fostering in the future are more likely toindicate that no one had ever asked them to foster. These findings highlight the fact thatthe market of potential foster carers is not one homogenous group, and that simplyconsidering the barriers to involvement at the aggregate market level can mask thedifferent views of particular segments within the market.

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