Journal Article

Young Mothers and the Care System: Contextualizing Risk and Vulnerability

Ravinder Barn and Nadia Mantovani

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 37, issue 2, pages 225-243
Published in print February 2007 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online April 2005 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Young Mothers and the Care System: Contextualizing Risk and Vulnerability

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Although the UK has the highest levels of teenage pregnancy in Western Europe, and while adolescent mothering has received considerable recent attention from researchers, there is a paucity of research literature about the particular experiences of young women who become mothers in or following local authority care. Findings from our empirical study reveal the significance of risk and vulnerability faced by a group of fifty-five young mothers following their exit from care. This paper explores the impact of risk and vulnerability and also highlights that although pregnancy may not be a planned activity, young women demonstrate choice and rationality in their decision to become mothers.

Keywords: young mothers; teenage pregnancy; youth in care; risk and vulnerability; choice; rationality

Journal Article.  8883 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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