Young people leaving care: transitions to adulthood

Mike Stein

in Managing transitions

Published by Policy Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9781847421883
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302780 | DOI:
Young people leaving care: transitions to adulthood

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After providing an overview of young people in the United Kingdom who leave foster care and residential care, this chapter highlights the importance of understanding their transition as part of their broader lifecourse and as ‘fast tracked’ compared to their peers in the wider community. It identifies three main experiences of transition: those who successfully move on; those who ‘survive’, often as a result of the personal and professional support they receive; and those for whom past experiences are already damaging and future life chances are poor. The chapter discusses research findings showing that young people leaving care, as a group, are likely to have a difficult transition to adulthood. As a group, these young care leavers have a high risk of social exclusion, but there are differences in their outcomes, between those who successfully ‘move on’, those who ‘survive’, and those who ‘struggle’.

Keywords: United Kingdom; transitions; young people; adulthood; foster care; residential care; care leavers; lifecourse; social exclusion; outcomes

Chapter.  5499 words. 

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