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2/15/2019 11:47:07ReportUdayan Care2018
The Situation of Aftercare Youth In Delhi
In 2014, the Trustees of Udayan Care ( envisaged long-term holistic care for all young adults who age out of the various alternative care setups like children's homes, foster care, child care institutions, observation homes, special homes, fit facilities, etc. In 2017, with the support of the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) and, Udayan Care initiated an exploratory and baseline
research with the aim of developing evidence-based programmes and practices for aftercare in Delhi.

This report introduces the issues faced by youth who have grown up in alternative care settings, like child care institutions, foster care, etc. The discussion is based on the literature and resources available in the public domain that focus on the transitional period of young adults' life when they move out of alternative care to independent living. Udayan Care's own experiences, from its 24 years of service delivery, informs this chapter's ideological underpinnings. Factors affecting care leavers upon exiting the safety of their CCIs are discussed in detail. These are: ·Emotional and mental health, ·Housing conditions, ·Physical health, ·Vocational skills and employment, ·Financial status and legal literacy, ·Social and interpersonal relationships,

As the first in the series that documents empirical findings of CAP, this research report, titled “The Situation of Aftercare Youth in Delhi, 2018,” covers the following:
(a) Introduction to the nature of challenges and opportunities faced by young adults (or 'care leavers') who age out of child care institutions (CCIs) in Delhi.
(b) Brief documentation of the kinds of interventions existing for care leavers in Delhi.

The Research methodology employed in this pioneering exploratory study include a baseline data for 47 care leavers in the various domains that affect their mainstreaming in society, such as mental health, physical health, housing conditions, education, vocational skills and employment, social and interpersonal relationships, financial status and legal literacy, quality of life, satisfaction with life and flourishing trajectory of their future.
Aftercare, India, Delhi, youth, transitions
2/3/2019 17:33:12Journal article
Zeira, Anat; Refaeli, Tehila; Benbenishty, Rami
Aspirations toward higher education: a longitudinal study among alumni of public care in Israel
Journal of Youth Studies
This longitudinal study tests a model that predicts aspirations toward higher education (AtHE) among alumni of public care in Israel based on their personal resources (self-esteem, readiness for independent living, and perceptions of their future), the support they receive from their mothers and peers, and their perception of the impact of military service. Using hierarchical regression analyses, we tested the incremental contribution of these variables to their AtHE. The sample comprised 202 alumni of care settings in Israel interviewed on leaving the care system, when they were 18 years old, and 4 years later. Higher AtHE scores were found among women and young people with a better perception of their educational achievements in high school. Additionally, high educational self-efficacy was associated with more AtHE. Finally, a positive impact of military service predicted greater AtHE. Implications for practice and policy are discussed.
Educational aspirations, care leavers, emerging adulthood, Israel
1/26/2019 15:38:22Journal articleOterholm, I. and V. Paulsen2018
Young people and social workers’ experience of differences between child welfare services and social services
Nordic Social Work Research
Volum 8. Suppl. 1 s. 19-29
This article focuses on support in transition to adulthood for young people
who have been in the child welfare system in Norway. By drawing upon
interviews with young people and social workers in child welfare services
and social services for adults, we explore differences between the support
offered by these two services and how this support is experienced by the
young people themselves. The interviews are analysed using the theory of
institutional logics as an analytical framework. Institutional logics guide the
focus of attention to those who are subject to the logics. The findings are
systematised in light of the issues that are given most attention in the social
workers’ reasoning about aftercare. The foci of attention in child welfare
and social services are compared to the experiences of the young people
and how they perceived the support from the two services. We point out
the following three dimensions, which seem to capture differences in foci
in the services and the young people’s experiences: (1) the extent to which
care leavers were recognised as a distinct responsibility; (2) the extent to
which the care leavers were perceived as young people or as young adults;
and (3) which aim was seen as most relevant – independence or a gradual
transition. The findings are discussed in light of legislation and the mandate
of the services, thus pointing at different institutional logics.
Aftercare; care leavers; child welfare services; social services; institutional logics
1/26/2019 15:35:46Journal articleOterholm, Inger2018Limitations of aftercare
Nordic Social Work Research
Volum 8.(S1) s. 43-53
In their transition to adulthood, most young people need and receive support from their parents. Young adults who leave care, on the other hand, often struggle in their transition to adulthood and are in need of public support. Whether these young people get aftercare or not depends on social workers’ discretionary judgement. The latter’s understanding of the scope of aftercare is therefore important. This article builds on qualitative interviews with social workers about their considerations regarding support for young people leaving care in the transition to adulthood. During the analysis of the interviews, differences between public and private care emerged, pointing to the limitations of public aftercare. The interviews were analysed based on the distinction between the concrete other and the generalized other, which identifies differences between private and public relations and support. Public support seems to be less flexible, and more uncertain, than private familial support, which has implications for policy and practice.
The private; the public; aftercare; support in transition to adulthood; child welfare
1/11/2019 15:21:42Journal articleJan Storø2017
Which transition concept is useful for describing the process of young people leaving state care? A reflection on research and language
European Journal of Social Work
Volume 20, 2017 - Issue 5, Pages 770-781
The transition of adolescents from state care to independent living is receiving increased research attention in many countries. Despite this interest, the concept of ‘transition’, though central, still remains relatively undeveloped. One main issue in comparative work is how we use language to define concepts as well as use them to analyse our findings and shape practice. ‘Transition’ over the last decade has become a key concept in the research and practice field of social work with adolescents, therefore we need to reflect on its use, its possibilities and its limitations. This paper examines selected research literature on the transition from state care to adulthood. The paper suggests that more theorisation needs to be done within the field.
Young people; child welfare; leaving care; theoretical issues; foster care; residential care; transition
1/11/2019 15:18:13Journal article
Elisabeth Fransson and Jan Storø
Dealing with the past in the transition from care. A post-structural analysis of young people's accounts
Children and Youth Services Review
Volume 33, Issue 12, December 2011, Pages 2519-2525
Young people experiencing the transition from care often are weighed down by their past, both through their early experiences, but also by the way their past is made relevant in encounters with others. The aim of this article is two-fold. Firstly, to present a critical discursive analysis of young people's accounts of themselves in the transition from care. Secondly, to shed light on three different ways of making the transition from care; transition through a break with the past after moving out, transition through continuing change and transition as a way of dealing with the risk of further problems in their lives. The study is qualitative and includes 27 young women and men recruited from three child welfare institutions in the Oslo region of Norway. A multi-method approach including interviews, observations and documents has been used. The analytical framework is inspired by poststructuralist theory.
Transition from care; young people; Self work; Residential child welfare institutions; Post-structural analysis; Michel Foucault
1/11/2019 15:14:00Journal articleJan Storø2018
To manage on one’s own after leaving care? A discussion of the concepts independence versus interdependence
Nordic Social Work Research
Volume 8, 2018, 104-115
The language of research and practice is an interesting topic. When young people transit from care to adulthood, it is quite common to conceptualize this as a transition to independence. Life after the transition is by all means more independent for most of these young people than what they previously had experienced. However, the concept of independence might also lead us to misunderstand what type of life the young people are moving to, and which challenges they might face. Independence suggests that becoming an adult is an exercise of managing totally on one`s own. This is problematic, given the fact that most adults in a society are taking part in mutual exchanges in social networks. In exploring this and related issues theoretically, I will discuss the concepts of independence versus interdependence in relation to what happens when young people leave care. In concluding this paper, I suggest a number of ways for combining the perspectives of independence and interdependence in helping young people tackle the transition from care to adulthood.
Leaving care, independence, interdependence, young people, child welfare
12/18/2018 23:21:44Report
Sanz-Escudia, C., Sala-Roca, J., Arnau-Sabatés & Llosada-Gistau, J.
Recull d'indicadors i mesures per avaluar els resultats dels sistemes de protecció a la infància : revisió de la literatura internacional
A EEUU hi ha una llarga tradició en la recollida sistemàtica de dades dels serveis de protecció per tal de poder avaluar l’atenció que donen els serveis dels estats, dissenyar polítiques orientades a millorar els resultats, avaluar les institucions que proveeixen els serveis i incentivar la creació dels programes innovadors per millorar els resultats. Dos dels exemples més clars són el sistema de bases federal AFCARS i els contractes programa (performance based contracting) que moltes administracions utilitzen per analitzar els resultats de la intervenció que fan les institucions amb les que contracten serveis.
Child Welfare Policies, assesment, indicators
12/18/2018 23:18:21Journal article
Jariot Garcia M., Rodríguez Parrón M., Sala Roca J., Villalba Biarnès A.
El proceso de desinternamiento de jóvenes extutelados para favorecer una inserción socio–laboral positiva. Análisis de la situación actual en los centros residenciales de acción educativa de Cataluña
Bordon60, 63-76
Con este estudio pretendemos conocer qué actuaciones y planes formativos realizan los centros residenciales de acción educativa para preparar el desinternamiento y propiciar una integración sociolaboral exitosa de los jóvenes que tienen a su cargo. Se han utilizado datos cuantitativos para realizar la descripción de la situación, así como datos cualitativos para recoger evidencias que permitan explicar algunos de los resultados. Las principales conclusiones de la investigación muestran que los problemas asociados a las circunstancias vitales de estos chicos dificultan los procesos de inserción y que los centros disponen de profesionales que pueden trabajar la preparación del desinternamiento, pero que sería necesario concretar sus actuaciones y las acciones de orientación laboral. Además, tampoco existe la figura del orientador en los centros ni protocolos específicos para preparar el desinternamiento y el seguimiento. Todo ello hace que nos planteemos la necesidad de analizar más en profundidad el modelo que se está llevando a cabo en los centros para introducir las mejoras pertinentes.
after care leavers, residential care, socio-laboral insertion
12/18/2018 23:16:20Journal article
Sala Roca J., Villalba Biarnés A., Jariot Garcia, M. y Rodríguez Parron, M.
Characteristics and sociolabour insertion of young people after residential foster.
International Journal of Child & Family Welfare
12(1), 22-34.
This study aims to determine the situation of young people after residential care. The directors of 36 finalist residences that care for young people who will come of age in the same center were interviewed. Residence directors gave information about 143 young people who left the center between 2 and 5 years earlier when they came of age, and who had not been diagnosed with mental deficiency. Most of the young people entered the residence after they were 12 years old due to family negligence. The young people scored highest for autonomy and lowest for emotional regulation. Competences were found to be related to the cause of protection. Half of the sample were emotionally unstable and had not graduated from high school. After leaving the foster residence, a third of the young people went to live with their family, and another third went to live in assisted flats. Girls tend to live with their partners more than boys; and boys tend to live with their family more than girls. 65.7 % of the young people received work training but only 59.9% worked, most of them in jobs that don’t need qualifications. 30.4% of girls became mothers at a young age. The implications of the data are discussed in the article.
Care leavers, transition, child welfare
12/18/2018 23:13:12Journal article
Sala Roca J., Jariot Garcia M., Villalba Biarnés A., Rodríguez Parrón, M.
Analysis of factors involved in the social inclusion process of young people fostered in residential care institutions
Children and Youth Services Review
31, 1251–1257
This study aims to analyse how the characteristics of Youth under custody in foster residences and the characteristics of foster residences affect the sociolaboral insertion after coming of age. This information is important for maximizing the possibilities of an autonomous, positive and satisfactory life after coming of age. The directors of 36 finalist residences that care for young people who will come of age in the same center were interviewed. Information about people who left the residences when they came of age over the past 2 to 5 years (n = 143) was gathered. Results show that after leaving the center, girls lived more with their partner, became pregnant at an early age, and did not work although they had received more job training than boys and did not seem to have more work instability. The young people who had been in more than one center had more problems with drugs, did not have a job, and have less acceptance of social rules, perseverance at work and emotional regulation than the other young people. The subgroups classified as “successful” scored better than other groups in autonomy; education, acceptance of the rules, perseverance at work, emotional regulation, ability to negotiate and be assertive. More “successful” young people came from centers in which the educators have less children.
Foster residencesChild welfareFoster children
12/18/2018 23:10:53Journal article
Sala-Roca, J., Villalba, A., Jariot, M. & Arnau, L. (2012). Socialization process and social suport networks of out-of-care youngsters. Children and Youth Services Review, 34, 1015–1023.
Socialization process and social suport networks of out-of-care youngsters.
Children and Youth Services Review
34, 1015–1023.
The aim of this study is to explore the socialization process and social support networks of out-of-care youngsters in Catalonia (Spain). 21 youngsters were interviewed regarding the involvement of residential centers in their educational experience, their network of friends, their free time and their first social experiences after coming of age: housing, sentimental relationships and establishing a family. The qualitative analysis of the content of the information was carried out by means of an inductive classification process using descriptive analysis scales. Data shows that human relationships within the home and free time are important resources; and that homes must make an extra effort to assist youngsters with their academic learning by providing personalized support. Two clear profiles emerge from the analysis. The youngsters that have succeeded with their sociolaboral insertion show better adaptability and social abilities than youngsters that have failed. The study concludes that residential centers focus on preparing youngsters to be financially independent; and it is necessary to implement social and emotional education programs that help youngsters to develop these abilities and create and maintain social relationships.
Out-of-care youngstersResidential careResidential homes
12/18/2018 23:08:12Journal article
Arnau-Sabatés, L., Marzo, M. T., Jariot-Garcia, M., Sala-Roca, J.
Learning basic employability competence: a challenge for the active labour insertion of adolescents in residential care in their transition to adulthood
European Journal of Social Work
17, 252 - 265.
The teaching of basic employability competence from a very early age is of preventive value in the transition of young people in residential care to adulthood. The present research relates employability competence (finding and holding down a job and gaining promotion in the labour market) with positive career outcomes and employment opportunities. In this study, conceptual methods for understanding employability are analysed and some existing international studies of employability skills are reviewed, although all of these are deemed partial approaches to the needs of children and young people in residential care. Our proposal, the IARS (Infancia y Adolescencia en Riesgo Social [Children and Young People at Social Risk]) Employability Competence Framework, developed by means of a collaborative and integrated approach with experts, provides a complete picture of how employability competences are important for preparing young people in residential care not only for active labour insertion but also in terms of their comprehensive development. A selection of a cluster of eight employability competences (self-organisation, decision-making and problem-solving, teamwork, communication, perseverance, professional project development, flexibility and responsibility) and their components are presented, as well as its educational implications within children's homes.
young people in residential care, transition to adulthood, employment outcomes, employability competence, active labour insertion
12/18/2018 23:05:40Journal article
Jariot Garcia, M., Sala Roca, J., Arnau Sabatés, L
Jóvenes tutelados y transición a la vida independiente: Indicadores de éxito
REOP26(2), 90-103.
The transition to independent living for young people in care requires the design of plans and actions that are initiated in the residential centers and continue after they leave. The aim of this article is to further understand how this transition takes place and how it is seen by those that are involved, in order to establish educational proposals to help them navigate successfully. Information from 21 young people in care in Catalonia and 43 educators were collected from interviews. Quantitative methods have been combined (descriptive and comparative) with qualitative methods, in order to best explain the data. The results show that these young people have a high percentage of failure and school mobility, limited training for employment, job instability and a career of low-skilled jobs. Foster care is perceived as a source of educational opportunity that was not offered to them in their biological home. The factors behind poor academic performances and school failure are: high school mobility, low academic self-esteem, poor motivation, the need to work to support themselves after the age of 18, little or no family support, no spaces available to study and not receiving attention for homework. The actions of guidance made no favor to maintain a link with the education system after the age of 16 years; they are geared towards finding and achieving employment without developing guiding actions aimed at maintaining and progressing in the labor market.
Transition to adulthood; Professional Guidance; Residential Care; Child welfare
12/18/2018 23:03:54Report
Sala-Roca, J., Arnau-Sabatés, Courtney, M. & Dworsky, A.
Programs and services to help foster care leavers during their transition to adulthood. A study comparing Chicago (Illinois) to Barcelona (Catalonia).
Care leavers, Former foster care, Transitions, youngs
12/18/2018 23:00:34Journal article
Comasolivas Moya, A., Sala Roca, J. , & Marzo Arpón, T. E.
Residential resources for the transition towards adult life for fostered youths in Catalonia
Pedagogía social: revista interuniversitaria
(31), 125-137
In Catalonia, Youths in care and Care leavers can apply for a housing program from 16 up to 21 to support their emancipation process. The aim of this study is to describe the housing program for transitioning to adult life for former foster youths in Catalonia, as well as the profile of young people, their educators and the work carried out in them. To this end, 5 methacategories were established: Identification data of the entity and its housing program, characteristics of the young residents, educational and support aspects to the youth, access and permanence in the housing program and leaving of the housing program. A semi-structured interview was used to interview 26 professionals. Professionals pointed out that the youth who stay longer are the ones who have a clear emancipation project and accept the educative supervision and program rules. The professionals explained that having an educative project and being enrolled in a training process increase the stay, because the financial subsidises they receive don’t provide enough financial stability. Professionals pointed out that reasons for leaving the program were the lack of labour opportunities because subsidises they receive don’t brings them enough financial stability. The reasons to left the program were the economic and labour stability. Due to the social and economic situation and the lack of job opportunities, most young people leave the program without having had the opportunity to prove themselves.
foster care, care leavers, emancipation, programs, autonomy, transition to, adulthood
12/9/2018 9:42:55
Conference paper
Matheson, I.2016
The experiences of New Zealand care leavers who went to university: Slipping down ladders and climbing up snakes
Presented at EUSARF international conference, Oviedo, Spain, 13-16 September 2016.
"As events are about to show, it is also possible to slither down a snake and climb to triumph on the venom of a snake" (Rushdie, 1981, p. 161). Over recent years, there has been a growing International recognition, by practitioners, managers, researchers and policymakers, of the importance of the transitioning from residential and foster care to adulthood process. Across public services, including child welfare, many governments have also been promoting a conceptual shift from outputs to outcomes and, with it, a stated wish to ensure better outcomes from limited public expenditure. However, despite these two developments, we still know very little about positive outcomes for care leavers. What little we do know from the limited number of research studies undertaken in this area, along with administrative data matching undertaken by some governments, historical reviews into the abuse of children in care, and professional and organisational experience, tends to be framed around negative outcomes such as, for example, homelessness, imprisonment, and suicide, or their absence, rather than positive outcomes per se. In this paper I will initially briefly explore the notion of positive outcomes in the context of transitioning from care to adulthood. I will then present, supported by slides, some of the key findings from a qualitative doctoral study undertaken with seven New Zealand university students who were in the process of transitioning from care to adulthood. Using informal conversation interviewing, the study explores their experiences of foster care, leaving care, schooling, university, interpersonal relationships, as well as their feelings, motivations, views and attitudes. While these individuals experienced many of the same barriers as other care leavers , a number of ‘success factors’ are identified including positive or very positive experiences of schooling, educational stability for their final year or years at high school, attending a local university and being close to their existing support networks, having experienced at least one high quality and valued foster care placement, education being valued by families and partners, having a supportive circle of friends, being able to access a high quality transitioning to independence support service, wanting a different kind of future for themselves, having a sense of (educational) resilience, feeling cared for and cared about by at least one adult, having a strong identity as a student or a professional, and completing their degrees. An understanding of such ‘success factors’, and indeed ‘obstacles’ may well be transferable to some other university students with a care background and others in care in New Zealand and overseas, and contribute towards our broader understanding around supporting transitions from care to adulthood. However, the paper also draws upon another of the study’s key findings; that being in foster care, and transitioning to adulthood, is a highly complex process. As such, ‘success factors’ and ‘obstacles’ may in practice take different forms with different individuals, and depending upon their own particular context may be experienced, and responded to, in very different ways too. Such factors also interact with each other, while some may also have unintended consequences, both negative and positive. Furthermore, this study also suggests that acts of enormous generosity, and also serendipity, may also have an important role to play in positive outcomes for those transitioning from care to adulthood. Using illustrative audio clips as well as slides, some of these complexities, tensions, contradictions, and their implications, are also explored. As well as policymakers, managers and researchers, the findings will also be of interest to practitioners and managers who are supporting young people as they try to navigate their way towards adulthood. Despite some similarities with others in care, participants came into care with considerable cultural capital, were educationally resilient, were able to make important educational relationships and take advantage of opportunities presented to them. They mainly came into care as teenagers, having already done well in their earlier schooling. All went on to complete their high school education at what they considered to be good schools. All embarked upon a professional degree, mainly in social work, education or law. Multiple foster care placements and, with some exceptions, getting little educational support from foster carers or social workers was not a barrier to them getting to university. Similarly, while educationally resilient, most were less resilient in other areas of their lives. However, the level of support from teachers and/or other school personnel was high and sometimes exceptionally high. To varying degrees once at university, the majority struggled. However, there was support from former foster carers, long-term partners, and in some instances parents.
care leaver; care; education; university, success; obstacles
12/9/2018 9:33:17
Conference paper
Matheson, I.2018
Extending care from 18 to 21: Towards an international evidence base.
Paper presented at EUSARF international conference, Porto, Portugal, on 5 October 2018.
Background: In many Anglo-American jurisdictions including England, Scotland, New Zealand, two Australian States, and approximately half of all US States, there is now some form of specific provision in place or in the process of being introduced, for young people to remain in care up to the age of 21 years of age. While defined and framed differently across jurisdictions, for example in Scotland residential care is included whereas in some US States remaining in a foster care placement is only for those in full-time education, these initiatives allow some young people, to transition from care at a pace and time that better suits them, and is closer to the experience of those without a care background. Such developments have been widely welcomed by advocacy groups for children in care and care leavers, foster carers, social workers, and the public. In some other countries, such as Sweden and Spain, it has has long been the practice that young people could remain in care until the age of 19 or 20 respectively, while in others such as Norway and the Republic of Ireland, there are often informal ‘non legal’ arrangements for the benefit of young people. Objectives: This paper reports on a study on identifying the international evidence base on extending care from 18 to 21. In doing so, and in order to help guide future developments, the study’s objectives were to identify: ‘what works’; who it works for and in what circumstances; how it works; why it works; and how broadly such provision might be improved. Methods: The study was based upon a review of published systematic reviews and research reviews, published literature reviews from selected organisations, international evidence-based programme ‘rating’ websites and databases, major research or evaluation studies (e.g. Midwest Study of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth , Right2BCared4, and Staying Put: 18 Plus Family Placement Programme) as well as evidence on best practice as identified by select Transitioning from Care research experts i.e. publications by members of the International Research Network on Transitions and Adulthood from Care. Results: The study found that the 'evidence-base' to support extending care from 18 to 21, as conventionally defined at least, is weak with relatively limited research and evaluation, or other forms of published evidence, available. However, what evidence there is suggests the importance of: being clear on the particular form of extended care that is on offer; quality foster care provision and strong relationships between foster carers and young people in the first place; ongoing stable and purposeful support as young people establish themselves in education, employment or training; being open to the possibility of permanency and other opportunities and not seeing extended care as just a short-term reprieve; understanding that this is not for all and some young people will need different pathways; and recognising the impact on the wider foster care system in terms of placement availability, and how long term placements are framed with prospective foster carers. Conclusion: The study’s implications, the interface between evidence, policy and practice, as well as some areas for further research and evaluation, are also explored. As well as policymakers, managers and researchers, the findings will also be of interest to practitioners and managers who are either supporting young people in care, or young people transitioning from care.
care leaver; 18; 21; care; international; research; evidence; Midwest Study; Staying Put;
12/9/2018 9:25:51
Conference paper
Matheson, I. & McDonald, P2018
Extending care from 18 to 21: Towards an Australian evidence base.
Paper presented at the conference of the European Scientific Association on Residential & Family Care for Children and Adolescents (EUSARF), Sydney, Australia, 21 August, 2018.
Background: Internationally, there is now some form of specific extended care provision in place, or being introduced, in several jurisdictions including England, Scotland, New Zealand, and much of the U.S. In Australia, since the 2016 launch of the Home Stretch Campaign, South Australia and Tasmania are also now seeing the merit of extending care. Objectives: This paper reports on a study about identifying the international evidence base on extending care from 18 to 21. In doing so, and to help guide future developments, the study’s objectives were to identify: ‘what works’; who it works for and in what circumstances; how it works; and why it works. Methods: The study collected and analysed published information from: systematic reviews; research reviews; literature reviews from selected organisations, major research or evaluation studies, and select Transitioning from Care research experts. International evidence-based programme ‘rating’ websites were also reviewed. Results: Extending care is a fast-moving policy and practice area, and the 'evidence-base’ does need to be strengthened and ‘catch up’. However, there is evidence that extending care can benefit some young people. The available evidence also suggests the importance of: being clear on the particular form of extended care on offer; quality foster care provision and strong relationships between foster carers and young people in the first place; ongoing stable and purposeful support as young people establish themselves in education, employment or training; being open to the possibility of permanency and other opportunities; not seeing extended care as just a short-term reprieve; understanding that extended care may not be appropriate or possible for all; and recognising the impacts on the wider foster care system. Conclusion: The policy, practice and research implications for Australian states looking to extend care, and the need to design, develop, and share evidence and learning on effective implementation models, are discussed.
care leaver; 18; 21; care; international; research' evidence; Midwest Study; Staying Put
12/9/2018 4:52:02Journal articleMatheson, I.2016
The importance of individual personal factors: The experiences of care leavers who went to university
Developing Practice46, 42-54.
care leavers; education; university; school; feeling; cared for; cared about; belonging; future; resilience; serendipity; generosity;dn=005713080211730;res=IELHSS
12/9/2018 4:42:56OtherMatheson, I2015
Slipping down ladders and climbing Up snakes: The education experiences of young adults with a care background who went to university (unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Otago, New Zealand).
Education has the potential to make a significant contribution towards improving the life-chances of children and young people in state care. However, despite a growing overseas body of research literature on the education of children and young people in residential and foster care, very little is known about the educational experiences, perspectives or circumstances of those in, or formerly in, care in New Zealand. Internationally, we still know very little about the experiences of the small proportion of young people with a state care background who go to university. This study investigates the educational experiences of New Zealand bachelor degree students and recent graduates who were placed in foster care as teenagers. Through the lenses of the children’s rights, ecological systems theory, resilience theory and cultural capital theory, this qualitative study involved in-depth interviews, as well as follow-up telephone interviews, with seven bachelor degree students or graduates with a state care background. Using an informal conversational interviewing technique, the study explores their experiences of primary schooling, secondary schooling, university, foster care, leaving care, family, partners, friends and the community, as well as their associated feelings, motivations, views and attitudes. Despite some similarities with others in care, the study finds that participants came into care with considerable cultural capital, were educationally resilient, were able to make important educational relationships and take advantage of opportunities presented to them. They mainly came into care as teenagers, having already done well in their earlier schooling. All went on to complete their high school education at what they considered to be good schools. All embarked upon a professional degree, mainly in social work, education or law. Multiple foster care placements and, with some exceptions, getting little educational support from foster carers or social workers was not a barrier to them getting to university. Similarly, while educationally resilient, most were less resilient in other areas of their lives. However, the level of support from teachers and/or other school personnel was high and sometimes exceptionally high. To varying degrees once at university, the majority struggled. However, there was support from former foster carers, long-term partners, and in some instances parents. This research has particular education and child welfare policy and practice implications for New Zealand. However, as one of the few international qualitative studies with tertiary students with a foster care background to take such a wide-ranging and exploratory approach, the findings may also be of relevance to practitioners, managers, researchers and policy-makers in other countries.
Care leaver; education; university; degree; residential care; foster care; primary school; high school; resilience; ecological systems theory; rights; cultural capital; serendipity; life-chances; teachers; foster carers; families
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Thesis / dissertation
Adeboye, T. K.2015
Young people transition process from family-oriented care to adulthood: Unveiling the nexus of reality in life course approach
The aim of this qualitative study was to unveil the reality in the transition process of youth from family- oriented care to adulthood using life course approach. The comparative study was carried out in the SOS children villages in both Lagos, Nigeria, and Bicesse, Portugal, where data for the study were gathered through audio-recorded and phone calls interviews. Organisational documents and data collected were analysed using content analysis to identify the emerging themes, similarities and differences in the nexus of transition process from care to adulthood. Three dimensions emerged from the 12 participants’ answers to the interview questions, these include the past life in shaping transition, the present life in shaping the future, and the projected pathways of future based on the possibility of the past life and the present life. Two types of childhood typologies were identified. The study findings have implication for family-oriented care organisations. The need for international collaboration for national exchange of research, and networking among family-oriented care organisations will go a long way to improve the transition process of youth towards holistic development and an international successful outcome. Furthermore, this can impact state policies and global policy development towards the globalisation of transition from care to adulthood.
care-leaving; Nigeria; Portugal
12/8/2018 12:21:00Journal article
Adeboye, T. K., Guerreiro, M. d. D. and Höjer, I.
Unveiling the experiences of young people in foster care: Perspectives from Portugal and Nigeria
International Social Work
Advance online publication
This article examines the lived experiences of young people in the process of leaving the care of SOS Children's Villages in both Nigeria and Portugal. Interviews were conducted with 12 young people and data were analysed using content analysis. Young people's lived experiences were captured in three emerging dimensions of past, present and future experiences. The study recommends resolving young people's childhood conflicts towards a successful transition into adulthood. It also has implications for policy practice in tailoring the present experiences in preparing young people for the demands of life after care.
care-leaving; Nigeria; Portugal
12/8/2018 12:21:00Other
Bailey, N., Loehrke, C. and French, S.
The Transitions Initiative: Youth aging out of alternative care
During the summer of 2011, the International Organization for Adolescents (IOFA) conducted a needs assessment in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that focused on identifying the strengths, needs, and risks of orphaned and vulnerable adolescents who are transitioning to independence. Our assessment revealed that youth who had already aged out of care were unprepared to find sufficient work once they had left their orphanage or community center. Some participants stressed that, because they were unemployed, they could not afford to go to school. Others talked about feeling forced to choose work over school in order to afford and survive in their day-to-day life. All of the youth who had already transitioned out of care agreed that the responsibility of taking care of themselves was “just laid” into their hands upon leaving care. Similarly, for those youth still in or receiving care, results of the needs assessment confirmed that youth face significant and critical challenges. Nearly all participants (95%) felt that they were unprepared to leave care; did not know where they would live (89%), how they would find a job (100%), or how they would earn money (95%). Many spoke of feeling sad and apprehensive. One youth remarked that, “Everything will be dark and I will be scared. Full of sorrow.” At the age of 18, one of the youth participants nearest to aging out revealed that she “feels sick about [her]self” whenever she thinks about the future.
care-leaving; Ethiopia; Africa
12/8/2018 12:21:00Journal article
Berejena Mhongera, P. and Lombard, A.
Poverty to more poverty: An evaluation of transition services provided to adolescent girls from two institutions in Zimbabwe
Children and Youth Services Review
Adolescent girls leaving institutional care in Zimbabwe need transition services and programmes to counter the socio-economic risks they face in their transitions to adulthood and out of institutional care. Using the sustainable livelihood approach (SLA), this study evaluated the services/support being provided by key transition service providers (the government and institutions) to meet the livelihood needs of adolescent girls transitioning from institutions A and B in Harare, Zimbabwe. Face to face interviews were conducted with 32 adolescent girls (sixteen inside institutions, aged 15–18, and sixteen discharged from institutions, aged 18–21). Key informant interviews were held with superintendents of the respective institutions and the district social services officer from the Department of Child Welfare and Probation Services. Findings indicate that adolescent girls have access to similar assets inside care. Due to non-provision of services/support by institutions and minimal services/support provision by the government, care leavers lose larger stocks of assets, making them poorer than their counterparts in care. This study concludes that the services and support being provided by institutions A and B and the Department of Child Welfare and Probation Services are not adequate in meeting the livelihood needs of adolescent girls and hence, result in negative livelihood outcomes beyond care. As a poverty reduction strategy, this study recommends the allocation of adequate resources for the provision of comprehensive services/support that promotes the achievement of sustainable livelihoods during and after care.
Adolescent girls; Institutions; Transitions; Sustainable livelihoods; Assets; Poverty; care-leaving; Africa; Zimbabwe
12/8/2018 12:21:00Journal article
Berejena Mhongera, P. and Lombard, A.
Who is there for me? Evaluating the social support received by adolescent girls transitioning from institutional care in Zimbabwe
Practice29(1), 19-35
Adolescent girls draw resources from different stakeholders to meet their livelihood needs during and after institutional care. Thus, an understanding of the nature of social support being provided is important in addressing poverty in the institutional context. Using the DFID sustainable livelihood approach, this qualitative study evaluated the social capital being accessed by adolescent girls transitioning from two institutions in Harare, Zimbabwe. Institution A is state-owned whereas B is run by a non-governmental organisation. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with thirty-two adolescent girls (sixteen in care and sixteen care leavers) and two focus group discussions were held with eight girls in each participating institution. Results from the study suggest that due to limited capacity, lower levels of engagement by different transition stakeholders and a fragmented service delivery system, adolescent girls lack adequate social support during and after institutional care, resulting in poverty. To promote the achievement of sustainable livelihoods, the authors recommend the development of a service delivery model that provides a continuum of support to adolescent girls in the institutional context as a distinct social group and increased investments in transition research and programming.
care-leaving; Africa; Zimbabwe; adolescent girls, social capital, ; stakeholders, transition, ; sustainable, livelihoods, ; institutional care
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Thesis / dissertation
Bond, S.2010
Adult adjustment and independent functioning in individuals who were raised in a children's home
Children are placed in a children’s home when a Presiding Officer finds them to be in need of care and when there is no viable community placement alternative. The body of literature on children’s homes focuses primarily on the negative effects and outcomes of such statutory placement. The assertion that children who grew up in children’s homes will continue to use the services of welfare organisations in adulthood, is supported by the researcher’s observation as a practicing social worker. This, and the study of available literature, resulted in this qualitative, exploratory-descriptive and contextual research study with the following goal: to enhance the understanding of how intervention programmes at children’s homes can contribute to adult adjustment and independent functioning of those children in their care. A purposive sampling method was used to identify ten participants who had spent at least 2 years in a children’s home and who had been discharged from the children’s home at least 5 years ago (to the date of data collection). The sample was drawn from clients at non governmental social welfare agencies who fitted the sampling criteria. The data was collected via semi-structured interviews using an interview guide, which were recorded, transcribed and then analysed using a thematic content analysis approach. The results of the study may be used to develop and implement meaningful intervention strategies for individuals placed in children’s homes.
care-leaving; South Africa; Children’s home; adult adjustment; independent functioning; intervention programmes
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Conference paper
Bond, S.2015
Care-leaving legislation and policy: How does South Africa compare against the international arena?
Social Work and Social Development Conference
Internationally, the care-leaving debate began in the 1970’s. The poor outcomes associated with care-leaving in the United Kingdom, United States of America and Australia prompted attention from researchers that has resulted in policy change in recent years. Although the pace of implementation has been variable, legislation and policy, specific to care-leaving continues to develop internationally. The experience and outcomes for care-leavers in South Africa reflects that of their contemporaries in other countries in key areas such as housing, employment, mental and physical health, homelessness and juvenile crime. However, South African care-leavers face additional challenges, endemic to the South African context, that compound the problems they face. While there similarities in the outcomes associated with care-leaving between South Africa and the international arena, there are marked differences in the legislation and policies available to address the issues and support care leavers. This paper will discuss the development of the international care-leaving debate, legislation and policy. This will be compared to the evolution of the care-leaving arena in South Africa. The similarities and differences in the issues and challenges faced by care leavers internationally and in South Africa, and a comparison of the support services available to care-leavers in the different contexts will be will also be presented.
care-leaving; legislation; policy; South Africa
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Conference paper
Bond, S.2017
Developing the possible-selves of young people leaving care as contributors to resilience: The role of the child and youth care community.
Pathways to Resilience IV Conference
Care leavers transition from care and return to their community of origin is challenging and characterised by poor outcomes. The use of Possible-selves theory may be useful while the young person is placed in the Child and Youth Care community, as it has a reciprocal relationship with resilience theory. The study was located in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa. Participants were recruited from four Child and Youth Care Centres . Life maps and possible-me tree activities, in conjunction with semi-structured interviews, were used to collect data from a sample of 12 young people who were ageing out of the statutory system. Focus groups were held with four Social Workers, and eight Child and Youth Care Workers to identify how they contributed to the development of the possible-selves and resilience of young people in care. The young people’s possible-selves were developed to varying degrees, and originated from natural mentors, role models and extra-mural activities, which are well-documented contributors to resilience. However, the Social Workers, and Child and Youth Care Workers showed a one dimensional, and dated, understanding of resilience as an inherent character trait. This suggests that the Child and Youth Care community may not be developing possible-selves and resilience in care leavers, which impacts on care leavers transition from care.
care-leaving; resilience; South AFrica
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Thesis / dissertation
Bond, S.2017
The development of possible selves and resilience in youth transitioning out of care
Social WorkDoctorate
This study contributes to the emerging body of South African literature on care leaving, as it explores the future selves and resilience factors of young people who are still in residential care and who are about to exit the statutory system. This is in contrast to the few other studies of care leaving in South Africa, which focus on the experiences of individuals after their discharge from care. This study also makes a contribution to the international discourse on care leaving, by adding a South African perspective on care leavers and their anticipated transition to adulthood. For young people who are aging out of the care system, their exit from residential care coincides with leaving high school and transitioning into adulthood. This is a time of great excitement and optimism for young people of this age. Unfortunately for care leavers their journey into adulthood frequently does not fulfil its promise, as the outlook for care leavers is poor and their transition from care is largely unsupported. This is particularly true in the South African context; unemployment and NEET (not in employment, education or training) rates among youth are high, and family and community contexts are characterised by poverty, substance abuse, violence and crime. Compounding these factors is the absence of legislation mandating services for care leavers. Service provision for this vulnerable group of young people is minimal and fragmented. Therefore, it may be argued that the time a young person spends in the care system should be aimed at maximising their life chances when they are discharged. In this regard, developing a young person’s resilience may be regarded as a critical element of service provision within the child and youth care centre. Future focus is regarded as a resilience factor, and this study argues that the development of the possible selves of young people while they are in care contributes to their resilience and may serve to improve the outcomes post discharge. The study argues too that developing resilience may also contribute to the emergence of possible selves in young people in care. The views of a small group of young people, who were shortly to exit the statutory system, of their futures, the content of their possible selves and resilience factors were explored in this research. The social workers and child and youth care workers who worked with these young people also contributed to this study, identifying resilience factors, and the successes and challenges they have experienced when facilitating young peoples’ transition from care. Thus the voices of the principal role players, at a critical and pivotal moment in the care system journey are brought to the fore in this research.
care-leaving; South Africa; resilience in South Africa; possible selves
12/8/2018 12:21:00Journal articleBond, S.2018
Care leaving in South Africa: An international and social justice perspective
Journal of International and Comparative Social Policy
34(1), 76-90
Internationally, the care-leaving debate began in the 1970s. The poor outcomes associated with care-leaving in the United Kingdom, United States of America and Australia prompted attention resulting in policy change in recent years, which continues to develop. The experience and outcomes for care-leavers in South Africa reflects that of their contemporaries in other countries, however, contextual factors compound the problems that they face and there is little support available to them. This paper discusses some of the challenges facing care-leavers and the development of the care-leaving debate, legislation and policy in the United Kingdom, United States and Australia. A comparison of the care-leaving arena in South Africa and the support services available to care-leavers in the different countries will be presented. The paper concludes by arguing that the absence of services for care-leavers is a neglect of the state’s responsibility as corporate parent, and represents an issue of social justice.
Care leaving policy; ; careleavers;; corporate parenting;; social justice; ; South Africa; care-leaving
12/8/2018 12:21:00Journal articleBond, S.2018
Care leavers’ and their care workers’ views of preparation and aftercare services in the Eastern Cape, South Africa
Emerging Adulthood
OnlineFirst(Emerging adulthood is an exciting time, filled with possibilities while remaining supported. However, care leavers’ journeys into adulthood are compressed and lacking educational, financial, and social support. In South Africa, this is exacerbated by contextual factors and the absence of mandated services for care leavers. A qualitative study was conducted with four Child and Youth Care Centers in a town in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Focus groups were held with young people in care and their care workers. Discussions focused on preparation for leaving care and aftercare services and the evaluation of these by each group of participants. Care leaving preparation consisted of independent living skills programs. Aftercare services were provided on an ad hoc basis, and there was no policy with respect to services to care leavers. The findings suggest that ongoing experiential learning and implementation of in-house policies may better prepare care leavers for emerging adulthood.
South Africa, care leavers, preparation for leaving care, aftercare, care workers; care-leaving in South Africa
12/8/2018 12:21:00Journal articleBond, S. and Van Breda, A. D.2018
Interaction between possible selves and the resilience of care-leavers in South Africa
Children and Youth Services Review
Although a future focus is recognized as a contributing factor to resilience, the content of future focus is seldom explored. Care-leavers in South Africa exit the statutory system and enter into adulthood largely unsupported. Their futures are hampered by limited preparation for leaving care, the absence of follow-up services and contextual factors such as high unemployment rates. Having a well-developed future focus may contribute to better outcomes for care-leavers. Drawing on data from a small qualitative study carried out in four child and youth care centres in a town in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, this article argues that possible selves methods provide a useful tool with which to unpack the content of future focus, and in doing so identify contributors to resilience. Study findings reveal a reciprocal interaction between possible selves and resilience: resilience enablers help to generate compelling possible selves, while possible selves lead to activities that promote resilience.
Possible selves; Resilience; Care-leavers; South Africa; Child and Youth Care; Care-leaving in South Africa
12/8/2018 12:21:00Other
Cameron, C., Hauari, H. and Arisi, C.
Decent work and social protection for young people leaving care: Gaps and responses in 12 countries worldwide
The aim of this report is to increase the knowledge and understanding of the needs and rights of young people ageing out of alternative care around the world, in order to inform strategies, policies and services to improve their life chances and outcomes through appropriate preparation for leaving care as well as after-care support6. The specific objectives of the research were to highlight facts and figures (or in some cases, lack thereof) on the experiences and challenges of young people leaving care, including through their own voice and the testimony of experts to complement existing data and literature sources. Overall, the report brings together information on the legal and policy frameworks, the organization of services, promising practices and proposals in development, but also gaps that need to be addressed in order to offer a preliminary analytical overview of this social phenomenon and recommendations to spark positive change.
care-leaving; employment; unemployment; social security; social protection; Cape Verde; Croatia; Ecuador; Italy; Kosovo; Kyrgyzstan; Mexico; Nicaragua; Togo; Tunisia; Uganda; Zimbabwe
12/8/2018 12:21:00Report
Chiroro, P. M., Seedat, R. and Woolnough, K.
A qualitative study on the experiences of youth who aged out of the foster child grant in South Africa
The aim of the study was to explore and document the experiences of youth who had aged out of the foster child grant (FCG) in order to provide empirical data that could be used to inform service delivery implementation and policy development on the broader issues affecting youth in foster care in South Africa. This study sought to obtain evidence-based information on the following key issues regarding the experiences of aged out youth: · Actions taken to prepare youth before they age out of the foster child grant (FCG) · Experiences and challenges faced by youth after ageing out of the FCG · Social and economic consequences faced by youth who have aged out of the FCG · Survival strategies utilized by these youth who have aged out of the FCG · Strategies and methods for responding to the challenges faced by aged out youth.
Care-leaving; South Africa; Foster care
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Conference paper
Dickens, L. F.2014
Predicting adjustment in youth 12 months after disengaging from a residential programme
Care-Leaving Doctoral Seminar, Queens University
This brief presentation provides an overview of a Doctoral research study, designed to determine which resilience constructs predict better outcomes for care-leavers as they transition out of care over 12 months. It describes the research design, provides an overview of the methodology and analysis and discusses some of the theory used. Tentative findings are presented.
care-leaving; south africa; Resilience
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Conference paper
Dickens, L. F.2015
A NEET ending? Is this the story of the South African care-leaver?
Social Work and Social Development conference
Leaving residential care poses a difficult transition. International research depicts an abrupt and accelerated journey to independence for care-leavers, replete with significant education, employment, financial and housing challenges. Despite a growing international knowledge base, there has been little research on this transition for South African care-leavers. Therefore, Girls and Boys Town, in partnership with the Department of Social Work at the University of Johannesburg, have embarked on a mixed methods longitudinal study to obtain an understanding of care-leavers’ journeys as they strive towards well-being and independence. Now in its fourth year, the data is highlighting the vulnerability of these care-leavers, particularly to being Not in Education, Employment, or Training (NEET). Becoming NEET is a significantly vulnerable situation for anyone within our society and can have serious consequences on other areas of young people’s lives. However, for care-leavers who are already considered one of society’s most disadvantaged groups and have diminished support systems, being NEET further exacerbates their vulnerability. This heightened vulnerability of youth leaving care, is further compounded by the very high youth unemployment rates in South Africa. Selected findings from this study will be presented, with a focus on the stories of care-leavers becoming NEET and the other challenges they face. Furthermore, resilience constructs for these youth will be presented, including how they can predict the outcomes of youth in their transitional journey.
care-leaving; South Africa; NEET
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Thesis / dissertation
Dickens, L. F.2016
The contribution of resilience to the 12-month transitional outcomes of care-leavers in South Africa
Social WorkDoctorate
Lisa Dickens’s research is the first of its kind internationally. Her study investigated the journey that young people take as they transition out of residential care and towards young adulthood. Having few or no support systems, and in the absence of policy on transitional support, they are particularly vulnerable. Lisa was interested to learn how these care-leavers were faring a year after leaving care and to what extent resilience factors facilitated better transitional outcomes. Using a mixed-methods, longitudinal rolling-cohort design, Lisa enrolled young people leaving care into her study over a period of two years, and followed up with them a year later. At enrolment, she assessed their readiness to leave care and their resilience, and at 12 months, she assessed a range of outcome variables. She found that care-leavers were, for the most part, not doing as well as hoped, but that a number of resilience variables predicted better transitions. These included: the youth having role models in their community, the ability of the youth to work effectively with other people and a higher self-esteem. This study has important implications for both youth transitions and resilience theory, and makes a significant contribution from the Global South to international research on care-leaving.
care-leaving; South AFrica
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Conference paper
Dickens, L. F.2017
One year outcomes of youth leaving residential care in South Africa
Social Work Conference 2017
Young people who leave home often face many challenges as they try to establish themselves in early adult life. Youth leaving residential care face the added pressures of needing to reintegrate back into their families or into independent living. This transition often takes place abruptly, with less support and at a younger age than their peers. For this reason, along with their often tumultuous pasts, international research has well documented the poor outcomes of care-leavers, making them among the most vulnerable and marginalized of all youth. Research shows that the first year out of care is often thought of as one of the hardest, as this is when care-leavers have to establish themselves in the world and figure out strategies to live independently. This presentation will discuss the one-year outcomes of youth transitioning out of Girls and Boys Town, in the first longitudinal study of care-leavers in Africa. Findings are compared to local data from youth in a similar age category in the broader South African population, as well as the outcomes of care-leavers in other countries, particularly from the Global North. The results highlight that GBT care-leavers are doing better than expected in some areas. However, they also draw attention to the high risk they face of becoming Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET), which can result in severe economic and psychological consequences. These findings add to the indigenous knowledge about South African careleavers, thereby offering perspectives on improving practice in this field in the Global South.
care-leaving; South Africa
12/8/2018 12:21:00Journal articleDickens, L. F.2018
One-year outcomes of youth exiting a residential care facility in South Africa
Child & Family Social Work
23(4), 558-565
This article describes the 1-year outcomes of youth transitioning out of a residential care facility in South Africa. Those outcomes are compared with both national data on youth in the general population and care leavers from the United Kingdom. Analysis of the outcomes of 52 care leavers showed that they had fairly secure accommodation, low levels of homelessness, and low levels of criminal involvement and substance abuse. However, care leavers were particularly vulnerable in their educational attainment and employment outcomes and ran the risk of being not in employment, education or training. This has economic and psychological consequences for youth, who are then forced to rely on others for their livelihood and it can increase their feelings of depression, isolation, and despondency. Results from this study provide insight into the challenges and needs of young people transitioning out of residential care, which provides guidance on what to prioritize for practice. This research has implications not only for improving the understanding of care leaving in South Africa and Africa, but also for the existing knowledge based on research internationally.
leaving care; looked-after children; outcomes in child welfare intervention; residential care; care-leaving; South Africa
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Conference paper
Dickens, L. F. and Marx, P.2014
Prepared for promising citizenship? The journey of youth leaving residential care
14th International Winelands Conference
Almost everybody at some point in their lives makes the transition out of home, or from some form of care, to a more independent life. This transition is a process, which requires careful planning, making crucial decisions for our futures and taking more responsibility for our own care. It involves decisions about studying, future work, where to live and who to live with, which social groups to belong to and ultimately, our identities in the ‘adult’ world. Up until this transitional phase, young people’s lives are defined more by the structure and lifestyle that their parents/care-givers provide, but now they need to define this for themselves. It is a crucial phase in their lives where the first steps of adult responsibility are taken and the foundations of a promising citizenship are laid. Even though a momentous event, many youth make the transition with solid support structures in place. Consider then, how much more daunting must it be for youth leaving ‘institutionalised’ state residential care? Firstly, the state grant ends abruptly when youth move out of these facilities at 18 years old and secondly, other crucial forms of social, emotional and material support are usually far fewer and unsustainable. Mostly, youth leaving institutionalised care leave at an earlier age and have the provided resources withdrawn earlier, or even immediately after leaving the facility (Cashmore & Paxman, 2006; Stein, 2008). There is extensive international literature documenting this – detailing how youth leaving care struggle to survive and often cannot cope. It is no wonder that these care-leavers are considered one of the most vulnerable and marginalised populations in our society (Chipping, 2012; van Breda, Marx & Kader, 2012). Despite this, there is a shortage of research into the lives of institutionalised youth in South Africa and very little is known about their care-leaving journeys. To date, there have been only eight known South African studies (Bond, 2010; Mamelani, 2013; Meyer, 2003; Meyer, 2008; Miller, 2004; Pinkerton, 2011; Purtell, 2012; van Breda et al., 2012) which examine the transition. In response to this, Girls and Boys Town (GBT) have embarked on a three-phased research study to gain an understanding about the transitional phase the youth undergo as they strive towards ‘successful’ independence, of well-being into adulthood, or a promising citizenship. We want to know whether they succeed or fail? Or is it both - a dynamic process blending the two, all the while figuring out who they are and what their place is in the world? We believe this study will expand the very limited body of local literature on care-leaving and will be the largest study (both in number of participants and complexity of design) on this topic in the country. We want to delve deeper and gain an understanding about those care leaving journeys – to capture the successes and challenges of these often resilient youth, who have faced tremendous adversity in their short lives. By further understanding their needs, we hope to enhance the preparation and support that those in the child care field can provide to them. Using a grounded theory approach, an emerging theory of care-leaving was constructed in Phase 1 of this study, comprising five social processes. Building on this foundation, Phase 2 is a longitudinal study and seeks to track youth twice annually in the first year and then once annually thereafter. We aim to ‘walk alongside them’ in order to capture their stories, through qualitative methods and to quantitatively measure their resilience and pair it with their outcomes. With that information, we can get a better understanding of what might lead to increased chances of success for them. We can also deduce which resilience constructs are most predictive of adjustment. This presentation is aimed at providing more information about these first two phases of the GBT research and some initial findings. It will explore some of the innovative practices that have emerged so far during the research. This includes: The quantitative and qualitative questionnaire tools designed in collecting data; An online web-interface system for capturing data – necessary for streamlining processes in a longitudinal study of this nature; The establishment of a Transitional Care Working Group, comprised of a team of researchers and practitioners trying to promote the agenda of care-leavers in the country. New ideas such as a proposal to hire youth themselves as fieldworkers into the future will also be shared. Lastly, the presentation will also explore some limitations of the study, most notably, the sustainability of the project into the future. Although GBT has committed to self-fund this project until the end of Phase 2, for this longitudinal research initiative to add most significantly to this area of study, it requires a number more years of collecting data, which is unsustainable for a Non-Governmental Organisation.
care-leaving; South Africa
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Conference paper
Dickens, L. F. and Van Breda, A. D.
How do we increase their chances of success? The journey of youth leaving residential care
NACCW 19th Biennial Conference: Social Service Innovations Towards Social Justice
Very little is known about the journey of youth transitioning out of residential care in South Africa. The youth’s stories are marked with challenges and uncertainty, but also opportunity and new beginnings, where youth have to find their way and stand on their own feet. To date, only six studies have focused on this transitional period. Therefore, Girls and Boys Town (GBT) are conducting a three-phased research study to gain an understanding about those journeys as they strive towards well-being and independence. This is so we, as children and youth care organisations, are able to further understand their needs and provide them with the skills and tools they require to have the best possible chance at success. We are looking their stories - Do they succeed or do they fail? Or is it both - a dynamic process blending the two, all while figuring out who they are and what their place is in the world? Our findings from Phase 1 have assisted us develop a new theory of care-leaving. Building on this foundation, Phase 2 is a longitudinal study and seeks to track youth twice annually to capture their stories, effectively walking alongside them to measure their resilience and pair it with their outcomes. With that information, we can get a better understanding of what might lead to increased chances of success for them. This presentation is aimed at providing more information these first two phases and initial findings.
care-leaving; South AFrica; Resilience
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Conference paper
Dickens, L. F. and Van Breda, A. D.
How do they fare? Transitioning out of care in South Africa
“Voices for Development” World Conference
We know very little about the journey of youth leaving residential care in South Africa. There have been only six studies which have delved deeper into this transitional period. Those journeys are marked with challenges and uncertainty, but also opportunity and new beginnings, where youth have to find their way and stand on their own feet. Girls and Boys Town (GBT) initiated a three-phased research study to delve deeper and gain an understanding about those journeys – to capture the successes and challenges of these resilient youth, who have faced tremendous adversity in their short lives. We asked, what do their journeys look like? What stories do they have to tell? Do they succeed or do they fail? Or is it both - a dynamic process blending the two, all while figuring out who they are and what their place is in the world? What can we, as a child and youth care organisations, do to ensure we arm them with the skills and support they need to have the best possible chance at success? Using a grounded theory approach, an emerging theory of care-leaving was constructed in Phase 1 of this study, comprising five social processes. Central to this theory is sustained and mutually beneficial human relationships, and the ways that young people draw on these social processes as they strive towards well-being and independence. Building on this foundation, Phase 2 seeks to track youth twice annually to capture their stories, effectively walking alongside them to measure their resilience and pair it with their outcomes. With that information, we can deduce what resilience constructs are most predictive of adjustment. This presentation is aimed at providing more information about the Care-Leaving Theory, and to provide some of the findings from the baseline study of Phase 2.
care-leaving; Resilience; South Africa
12/8/2018 12:21:00Report
Dickens, L. F., Van Breda, A. D. and Marx, P.
Growth beyond the town: A longitudinal study on youth leaving care: Baseline report
This is a technical report on baseline data from an ongoing longitudinal study of young people leaving the care of Girls and Boys Town South Africa. Data are drawn from the first 22 participants, enrolled at the end of 2012, just before disengaging from care. Participants completed the Youth Ecological Resilience Scale. The results of their resilience profile, and various questions about their readiness for leaving care, are presented.
care-leaving; outcomes; resilience; South AFrica
12/8/2018 12:21:00Report
Dickens, L. F., Van Breda, A. D. and Marx, P.
Growth beyond the town: A longitudinal study on youth leaving care: 12-month outcomes report (Cohort 1)
17 participants are described in this report. They are the first cohort in the Growth Beyond the Town research study who disengaged between November and December 2012. This report presents the findings of the follow-up interviews, 12 months after leaving Girls and Boys Town (GBT). It focuses on the outcomes of these young people since leaving care. Of all the outcome categories measured, participants on average scored highest in their relationships with partners (84.1%) and lowest in terms of their financial security (52.1%). The majority the participants (n=15) are living at home with family. A few live with a parent, but some live with extended family (primarily their aunts). One youth is fully independent living on his own and paying his own rent. Two youth have broken family ties and have been forced out of their family homes, where they disengaged to. One youth lives with his girlfriend and her family, while another lives with his friends. Friends and partners form significant support networks for youth who cannot rely on their families or in cases when relationships break down. The importance of these networks cannot be understated for care-leavers. Not one of the youth had experienced any days of homelessness, which is extremely positive considering international research shows at least 20% of care-leavers experience homelessness in the first two years of leaving care (Ward, Henderson & Pearson, 2003). Only seven of the youth are currently working, three full-time and four part-time. Two of those youth are also still in school. Ten of the participants are considered NEETs (not in employment education or training). At the time of leaving care, six of the participants had only completed Grade 9, compared to three who had completed Matric. Educational attainment at the time of exiting care serves as a predictor for improved outcomes as they journey to adulthood. Physically, participants are doing better than they are psychologically. Very few of the youth require regular medical treatment (n=3) and most have enough energy to function well in everyday life (n=11). More than half the participants (n=9) report feeling slightly depressed and have feelings of hopelessness. Financially, participants are not faring well. Youth that do not work rely on their parents or families for support (n=4), on state grants (n=3), and some have no income at all (n=3). Nine of the youth reported that their income is less than R400 per month. Furthermore, eight of the participants do not have their own bank account. Most alarming, eight of the participants did not have any food to eat for at least two full days in the previous month, indicating a lack of food security. Substance and alcohol use amongst participants is fairly low. While more than half the youth smoke cigarettes every day, two thirds do not engage in regular drinking. Only three participants use marijuana daily, but not one of the participants reported using any Class A drugs during the time of their interviews. Similarly, criminal activity amongst the participants is even lower than for substance abuse. The vast majority of care-leavers have not been involved in stealing or much violence and have not been in trouble with the law. In summary, there appear to a total of five youth who are doing well (they are not NEETs and are not involved in negative behaviours). A further six of the youth are doing adequately (they are not involved in negative behaviour but are NEETs), and six of the youth are doing poorly (they are NEETs and involved with either crime or substance abuse or both).
care-leaving; outcomes; SOUTH Africa
12/8/2018 12:21:00Report
Dickens, L. F., Van Breda, A. D. and Marx, P.
Growth beyond the town: A longitudinal study on youth leaving care: 30-month status report
The aim of this study is to explore the experiences of youth who leave residential care to determine the key factors that contribute to better outcomes for them. This report provides preliminary results on the first and only longitudinal study on youth leaving residential care in South Africa. It begins with a discussion of Girls and Boys Town’s (GBT) larger research strategy and is followed by the contribution of the study and an overview of the methods used to collect the data. There are four main results sections: (1) Demographic data: Provides background information on the youth for context; (2) 12 month outcomes data: Provides information on what happens to the youth a year after leaving GBT, detailing where they are in their lives at that time; (3) 12 to 24 month outcomes data: Provides information on what happens to care-leavers in their second year after leaving GBT; and (4) Predictions: Provides information on the factors that enable a more effective transition out of care into adulthood. The report concludes with a summary and implications of these findings for practice.
Resilience in South Africa; care-leaving; outcomes; resilience; South Africa; social work
12/8/2018 12:21:00Journal articleDiraditsile, K. and Nyadza, M.2018
Life after institutional care: Implications for research and practice
Child & Family Social Work
23(3), 451-457
This study sought to investigate the lived experiences of care leavers from institutional care facility in Botswana. The study objectives were to explore the challenges faced by children after leaving the institutional care and to identify services that can be offered to them in preparation for life in a society in general. The study adopted a cross-sectional qualitative research approach, and data were collected through in-depth interviews that were qualitatively analysed. Thirty participants was sampled, and there were divided into 2 sections comprising care leavers and key informants who were part of the institutional care staff. They were selected using purposive and snowball sampling methods. The findings confirm that institutional care has both positive and negative effects on care leavers in the sense that it provides children with educational opportunities, family, and strong interrelation skills. Furthermore, the study findings show that during children's stay in the institutional care, they are sometimes neglected by housemothers that affect their transition into mainstream society. Moreover, the study findings reveal that care leavers encounter many challenges ranging from finance management to unemployment, discrimination from the society, and poverty. Lastly, future research, policy direction, and implications are discussed.
Botswana; child welfare; institutional care; research in practice; care-leaving
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Conference paper
Dziro, C.2017
The protection of children in neoliberal Zimbabwe: A comparative study of kinship based foster care and institutional care for orphans and other vulnerable children
Social Work Conference 2017
The death of parents due to HIV and AIDS pandemic, persistent droughts and other such ecological challenges led to the suffering of orphans and other vulnerable children in neoliberal Zimbabwe. The death of parents had an impact on the survival strategies of orphans and other vulnerable. Without a strong legislation and services for the care for the care of these children in Zimbabwe, services are being influenced by Western values of individualism as opposed to socialism. The care of orphaned children has become common in developing countries as regards to the growing numbers of such children who need such care. Lack of resources by extended family members has also seen such children going through hardships as they fail to access basic needs such as education, health and social welfare. The development of nuclear families has led to some children ending up in children’s homes as they find it difficult to be absorbed by the nuclear and the extended families. The placement in Institutions has its own negative implications as children leave institutional care into the community. The aim of the study therefore is to examine the best option for children in need in Zimbabwe which is sustainable. The objectives of the study are to establish how basic needs of children in need can be met in Zimbabwe under foster and institutional care. The other objective will be to examine the sustainability of kinship based foster care and institutionalization of children. The study will utilize a qualitative research design. The study will use in-depth interviews utilizing an indepth interview guide to solicit for information from ten children who will include five from institutions and five from from those under kinship based foster care. The idea will be to establish how they are meeting their basic needs. Focus Group Discussions will be utilized using focus group discussion guides to find out the sustainability of institutionalization and kinship based foster care from five child care minders in institutions and five heads of households caring for orphaned children. Key informant interviews will be conducted with two social workers and two traditional leaders a nurse and a Pastor The study will therefore come up with suggestion on policies for improving the care of orphans and vulnerable children under the current circumstances and how the government can intervene through the introduction budgets towards the care and protection of vulnerable children.
care-leaving; Zimbabwe
12/8/2018 12:21:00Journal article
Dziro, C., Mtetwa, E., Mukamuri, B. and Chikwaiwa, B. K.
Challenges faced by western-modelled residential care institutions in preparing the residents for meaningful re-integration into society: A case study of a Harare-based children's home
Journal of Social Development in Africa
28(2), 113-130
In Zimbabwe, child welfare has been at the top of the agenda of the government and numerous non-governmental agencies since the mid-1980s when thousands of children became orphaned as their parents succumbed to AIDS-related illnesses. The response to the crisis has essentially involved placing the orphans and other vulnerable children (OVC) in residential care institutions, particularly children’s home that operate in the basis of western models. Questions have been raised relating to issues such as the extent to which the children placed in these institutions, where they are cared for by non-relatives, do receive the kind of mentorship that is in conformity with African culture and values, predicated on with what has been termed the ‘human factor’ approach. Some commentators have blamed these residential care centres for their apparent failure to bring up the orphans and other vulnerable children in their care, sufficiently well groomed in local culture and values, and that the perceived failure had led to a situation where such children grew up with anti-social tendencies. This paper is based on an analysis of data on the welfare of children who were based in a residential care home situated in Harare, Zimbabwe and the results indicated that the children in this residential care centre tended to exhibit a serious lack of proper grooming in African culture and values, which phenomenon predisposed them to negative behavioural tendencies. The paper recommends the adoption of an Afro-centric model of residential care for children in Zimbabwe.
Children, Zimbabwe, human factor, children, Afro-centric, culture.; care-leaving
12/8/2018 12:21:00Journal articleDziro, C. and Rufurwokuda, A.2013
Post-institutional integration challenges faced by children who were raised in children’s homes in Zimbabwe: The Case of “Ex-girl” Programme for one children’s home in Harare, Zimbabwe
Greener Journal of Social Sciences
3(5), 268-277
This is an investigation of post-institutional integration challenges faced by former inmates from institutions in Zimbabwe basing on Ex-girl group members of one institution for children in Harare. The study aimed at exploring challenges faced by girl children discharged from one institution. The research focused on three objectives namely an assessment of empowerment goals of institutions for girls in preparation for life after institutionalisation, to identify problems encountered by girls when they leave institutions and establish community support systems for the girl children as they leave the institutions. The research was exploratory and descriptive in nature and used qualitative research approach. Ten girls out of one hundred girls were targeted for the study. Focus group discussions, interviews and observations were used for the study. The research revealed that institutional care is so a regimented and depersonalised environment in which children have no opportunity to experience a normal family life and could not acquire the basic skills of developing ubuntu/hunhu (humanness). As a consequence, they fail to acquire culturally specific life skills and the capacity for independent thought and motivation which is necessary in their lives. The findings indicated that children discharged from institutional care endure chronic abuse and emotional deprivation which gives rise to a lasting inability to form loving and trusting relationships at time resulting in marriage break ups. One of the research recommendations were made thereof.
care-leaving; Zimbabwe; Africa
12/8/2018 12:21:00Journal articleFrimpong-Manso, K. A.2012
Preparation for young people leaving care: The case of SOS Children's Village, Ghana
Child Care in Practice18(4), 341-356
A growing concern for child welfare is how preparation for adulthood programmes can be strengthened to more effectively meet the needs of youth in out-of-home care. There is a gap in our knowledge about how young adults in out-of-home care in Africa are prepared for their transition to adulthood. The present study adds to the current body of research on the subject by exploring the preparation for adulthood experiences of young Ghanaian care-leavers with a particular focus on sources, needs and barriers to preparation for leaving care. Interviews were conducted with 27 young adults who had exited the SOS children's village in Tema, Ghana and were analysed using the framework approach. The key findings of the study were that young adults used a variety of sources in preparing for adulthood, which included the SOS mother, the youth facilities and the boarding house. The youth identified a number of deficits in their preparation for leaving care including finance, accommodation and cultural skills. They also identified a number of barriers to their preparation including the lack of support and guidance and a lack of input into decisions regarding their future. Recommendations for improving the practice of independent living preparation are proposed. These recommendations include formally involving care-givers in the preparation process and including young people in decisions relating to their preparation.
CHILD welfare; ADULTHOOD; INDEPENDENT living; CAREGIVERS; CHILD care; TEMA (Ghana); GHANA; Africa; Care-leaving
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Thesis / dissertation
Frimpong-Manso, K. A.2012
Leaving and after care in Ghana: The experience of young adults leaving a private children's home
In 2006 the Government of Ghana embarked on an initiative to reform residential care in Ghana, including the leaving and aftercare processes. Although this was a laudable effort, it was based on concepts and research findings from the ‘developed’ world. There was no conscious reflection of the social, economic and political conditions pertaining to Ghana. It was not underpinned by research findings of what works for young people leaving care in Ghana as no previous research has investigated this subject. This study examines the leaving and aftercare process and how it affects young people’s post-care coping abilities. The research is primarily a qualitative case study of a private children’s home and uses resilience and social capital as sensitising concepts. Framework analysis is used to analyse and gain insights into the experiences and views of twenty nine care leavers as well as the perceptions of their carers and support staff. The findings are reflected in a model that indicates that Placement Stability and Continuity of Care, Positive Relationships, Religion and Material Security are the factors within the leaving and aftercare process that determines how well young people cope with independent living. The study makes practice and policy recommendations that include the use of mentoring and transition assessment tools, incorporating community groups into the transition process and the use of social networks such as Facebook to provide information and support to care leavers. It is suggested that the leaving care age should be extended to 21 years and the establishment of statutory two-year aftercare support.
care-leaving; Africa; Ghana
12/8/2018 12:21:00Book chapterFrimpong-Manso, K. A.2016
Residential care for children in Ghana: Strengths and challenges
Residential child and youth care in a developing world: Global perspectives
172-185residential care; Africa; Ghana; care-leaving
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Conference paper
Frimpong-Manso, K. A.2017
Building and utilizing community resilience: Experiences of young people leaving care out-of-home care in Ghana
Pathways to Resilience IV Conference
In the last two decades, HIV/AIDS and growing poverty have been major reasons for thousands of children going into out-of- care in Ghana, mostly orphanages and children’s homes. Many of these children have reached the age of majority (18 years) and are aging out-of-care. Yet little is known about the experiences of Ghanaian care leavers. This study investigates the challenges facing care leavers in Ghana and factors outside the residential care facilities that influence the resiliencies of the care leavers. The research is primarily a qualitative case study of a private children’s home in Ghana, the SOS children’s villages. Based on the logic of qualitative inquiry, non-probability purposive sampling was used in selecting the young people in the study based on the following criteria: (a) be 18 years or above; (b) lived in the selected children’s village for at least one year; and (c) been out of care for at least one year prior to the study. Semi-structured interviews, with the aid of a topic guide, were used to collect primary data from the care leavers. The interviews were undertaken in English and pidgin, in locations convenient for the participants, and usually lasted between 45 minutes and one hour. The transcribed data from the interviews were analyzed using the framework analysis approach (Ritchie and Spencer 2003). Ethical approval was obtained from the ethics committee at Queen’s University Belfast. The findings suggested that the care leavers experienced several challenges including finding employment, housing, community integration, and intimate relationships. However, there a group of the young people who were coped well with these challenges. These were mostly those who used their secure relationship with their caregiver as a base to form positive relationships after leaving care. They were also able to create and utilize resources in their community including the church and other care leavers.
care-leaving; resilience; Ghana
12/8/2018 12:21:00Journal articleFrimpong-Manso, K. A.2017
The social support networks of care leavers from a children's village in Ghana: Formal and informal supports
Child & Family Social Work
22(1), 195-202
In the past fewdecades, the number of children requiring out-of-home care in the developing world has risen sharply. Many children end up in institutions where they make a transition to adulthood. Little is however known about the social support available to young people during and after they leave care. This study examines the sources and kinds of support as well as the barriers to social support for a group of care leavers from a children’s village in Ghana.The participants used a combination of formal and informal sources for their support needs. The formal sources provided mostly financial and practical support, whereas the informal sources offered emotional and informational support. The barriers to access included the attitude of the staff and SOS adults and limited cultural skills of the care leavers. Recommendations for removing the barriers and improving social support for care leavers are offered in the final part of the study.
care-leaving; Africa; Ghana
12/8/2018 12:21:00Journal articleFrimpong-Manso, K. A.2018
Building and utilising resilience: The challenges and coping mechanisms of care leavers in Ghana
Children and Youth Services Review
Each year, some young people leave children's homes or orphanages in Ghana to start life on their own. However, little is known about their challenges and the factors that influence their coping mechanisms. Data were collected through interviews with 23 care leavers and analysed using the framework analysis. The findings show that the care leavers were experiencing challenges with employment, housing, and social integration. Risk factors included having inadequate social and cultural skills and leaving care without employment. The protective factors that influenced the participants' ability to cope with challenges after leaving care were social support and self-reliance. Recommendations for practice and policy include extending services for young people leaving care, having a national campaign to reduce stigma towards care leavers, and ensuring adequate cultural socialisation for children and young people in residential care facilities.
Leaving care; Care leavers; Challenges; Resilience; Coping; Africa; Ghana; care-leaving
12/8/2018 12:21:00Journal articleFrimpong-Manso, K. A.2018
Stories of care-leaving: The experiences of a group of resilient young adults on their journey to interdependent living in Ghana
Emerging AdulthoodOnlineFirst
Emerging adulthood is the developmental period from 18 to 25 years of age when young people explore the possibilities of life with support from their parents. However, young people with an out-of-home care background usually navigate this life stage with little or no support. As a result, many care leavers experience poor outcomes including homelessness and low educational achievements. These narratives fuel low expectations and a negative stereotype towards care leavers. This study offers an alternative perspective by sharing positive stories of care leavers. Specifically, it explores the factors that promote the successful transition to emerging adulthood for care leavers in Ghana. Four key themes emerged from the thematic analysis: networks of social support, personal capacities, preparation for adulthood, and positive relationships. These are the factors facilitating the care leavers’ successful transition into emerging adulthood. The study has offered recommendations for policy-making and practice, including extending the statutory leaving care age.
Care-leavers, resilience, emerging adulthood, out-of-home care, Ghana; care-leaving in Ghana
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Conference paper
Gebru, M.2008
The experiences of JECCDO in de-institutionalisation
Children and HIV/AIDS: Action Now, Action How
This is a PowerPoint presentation of a conference paper about Ethiopia's strategy to deinstitutionalise, by transferring all children from children's homes into other forms of family and community based care.
ethiopia; Africa; care-leaving; Deinstitutionalisation
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Thesis / dissertation
Gwenzi, G. D.2015
Factors influencing the transition from institutional care to independence for young care leavers in Harare: A social service professional and caregiver perspective
Young people leaving care have been the subject of international research in the last decade, whilst in Africa studies are still few. The ability of young people to transition successfully from institutional care to independent living in society has become a policy concern. This is because of the documented poor outcomes of care leavers internationally and in Sub-Saharan Africa. This study explored the factors influencing the transition from care to independence in Harare, Zimbabwe. Utilising qualitative research methods and thematic analysis, the study identified a number of factors that affect young people from the view of social service professionals and residential care workers. Respondents were purposively selected and data was collected using semi-structured interviews, an online focus group and the use of observation. In Zimbabwe, the social service system has been affected since 2008, by the economic crisis and the effects of poverty and hardship has trickled down to affect the most vulnerable children and young people. The study found a number of factors which influence young people’s transitions from care in Harare. Among these were the young person’s previous circumstances, the role of the Department of Social Services, the role of the institution and the expectation of instant adulthood. Other contributing factors such as the capabilities of the young person and relationships with caregivers were mentioned by the respondents. The study made recommendations for more successful transitions from institutional care which include; recognising that care leavers are not a homogenous group and the need for improved knowledge of care leaver outcomes and transition processes for residential caregivers.
care-leaving; Africa; Zimbabwe
12/8/2018 12:21:00Journal articleGwenzi, G. D.2018
The transition from institutional care to adulthood and independence: A social services professional and institutional caregiver perspective in Harare, Zimbabwe
Child Care in Practice
Advance online publication
Much research has explored transitions into adulthood for children living in out-of-home care. However, most of these studies are concentrated in Western countries, leaving a gap of information from the Global South. This paper discusses findings from a small-scale qualitative study conducted in Harare, Zimbabwe. Semi-structured interviews with (n = 18) institutional caregivers and social workers, complemented with site observations at selected institutions for children, were conducted. Data were analyzed using thematic coding. Findings show that young people aging out from Harare’s care institutions face challenges making their transition from care into adulthood. Their age at the time of exit is turning care leavers into instant adults and, without much support, their outcomes are poor. Community attitude towards previously institutionalized young people also affects the transition because of the stigma attached. The study concludes that a lack of information about care leaver outcomes impacts on service delivery for this group. Additionally, the lack of financial and human resources hinders the support that could be provided to care leavers, in the form of transitional housing or family support after successful reunification.
Care leavers,; institutional care, ; independence, ; aging out, ; adulthood, ; transitions; care-leaving in Zimbabwe
12/8/2018 12:21:00Journal articleGwenzi, G. D.2018
Constructing the meaning of “family” in the context of out-of-home care: An exploratory study on residential care leavers in Harare, Zimbabwe
Emerging AdulthoodOnlineFirst
Care leavers’ family lives are not well-documented in Global South literature. The West has seen an increase in studies focusing on the family concept. This article focuses on the concept of “family” and family membership from the perspective of care leavers. Data from semistructured interviews and “family lists” with 30 care leavers (aged 18–25) from Zimbabwe are presented. The findings suggest that although there is evidence of heteronormative definitions of “family” and ideas of “family” as biological, new definitions are coming up in the developing world. Some participants acknowledge nonbiological definitions of family based on connectivity, co-residence, affective practices, family contact, and other forms of family display in the context of out-of-home care. The Zimbabwean cultural influence is highlighted as a factor in care leavers’ constructions of “family” especially during the emerging adulthood stage. Practical implications for social policy, those working with care leavers, and wider society are discussed.
care leavers, out-of-home care, family meanings, transition into adulthood, residential care, ; care-leaving in Zimbabwe
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Thesis / dissertation
Hlungwani, J.2017
Young women’s journey towards successful independent living after leaving residential care
Social workMasters
The transition to independent living is a challenging phase for youths who grow up in residential care. The vulnerability of the care leaving population is widely acknowledged in care leaving research. In addition to the transitioning challenges that face care leavers globally, South African care leavers are faced with contextual disadvantages that increase their vulnerability. These include limited formal support services, high levels of unemployment and many family related problems that can be accounted for by the apartheid legacy. This paper presents qualitative findings of the resilience processes of young women who have left the care Child and Youth Care Centres in Gauteng, South Africa. Nine young women, aged 21 years and above, who had disengaged from the care of different CYCCs four to six years prior to the research were purposively sampled for the study. Grounded theory methods were used to analyse the data and gain insights into the social-ecological resilience processes that facilitate successful journeying towards independent living. With the resilience perspective as a theoretical lens, this paper presents the processes which the young women actively engage in, that appear to be central in facilitating a successful journey towards independent living. Eight social processes emerge as contributing to the successful transitioning of young women out of residential care. A separation is made between the social processes that appear as unique to the journey of young women and those that reflect the young men’s journey. Four social processes that emerge as unique to the young women’s journey are: taking on responsibilities, embracing motherhood, living in faith and cultivating gratitude. The other four social processes which are consistent with van Breda’s findings, and therefore appear to facilitate the resilience of both young men and young women are: striving for authentic belonging, networking people for goal attainment, building hopeful and tenacious self-confidence and contextualised responsiveness. `The notion of success is also conceptualised as process that may take as long as a life time rather than a state. This study makes a contribution to the body of literature on women leaving care which is a research area that has formerly received little attention. The study is also useful in informing local policy, social work interventions, particularly those that will focus on enhancing the resilience of young people in care as well as further research.
care-leaving; resilience in South Africa; South Africa; gender; women
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Conference paper
Jacobs, G. and Edwards, M.2017
Young people moving out and moving on: What it takes to support young people leaving care?
Pathways to Resilience IV Conference
Mamelani Projects is a non-profit organisation based in Cape Town, South Africa and has been working in the field of youth leaving residential care for over a decade. Our aim has been to strengthen interventions and support better outcomes for young care-leavers. Initially our programme supported young people through life skills and access to resources, These supports are important in assisting young people to move through their transitions, however, it was young people’s ability to overcome adversity that caught our attention. This led us to collectively explore what approach contributes to resilience along the care-leaving journey. We have adopted a strengths-based approach that nurtures young people’s strengths, relationships and networks of support, as well as builds on existing internal and external assets. Working in this way has had a positive impact on the way in which young people move through these transitions. We highlight practice principles that lie at the heart of our work, contributing to nurturing resilience in young people. We share how we have developed a richer understanding of the individualised, culturally and ecologically specific ways in which young people “practice” resilience, and highlight protective factors contributing to better outcomes.
care-leaving; South AFrica
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Thesis / dissertation
Kadungure, T. M.2014
The experiences of adolescents preparing to leave foster care on the grounds of age in East London
MastersAdolescents in the process of leaving foster care often have personal histories characterized by instability and one or more related factors such as poor parenting, separation from their families, poverty, abuse, neglect, abandonment, personal loss and disruptions resulting from displacement. As a result, these adolescents are often unprepared to be released from the support provided by government institutions. As few studies have investigated the experiences of children in foster care in South Africa, the principal aim of this study was to investigate the experiences of adolescents leaving the foster care system in East London, South Africa when they reach the age requiring them to do so. The qualitative method was adopted for this study, and thirty-five indepth interviews were conducted. The study found that for children in foster care the adolescent stage is the most crucial. It was also learned that the foster care process itself is long, arduous and complex. The adolescents experience stress and uncertainty and are not given any support from the government or social workers as they approach the age at which they will be required to leave foster care. It is recommended that support be extended at least until after secondary schooling has been completed and the adolescents are able to fend for themselves.
care-leaving; South Africa; Foster care
12/8/2018 12:21:00OtherLee, S. J. and Field, M.2015
Assessing SA-YES Alumni transitions to independence: Preliminary steps towards the quantitative measurement of transition outcomes among SA-YES alumni
The objective of this research was to conduct a systematic review of existing qualitative and quantitative literature pertaining to youth transition across the specific domains of ‘work and finance’ and ‘education and lifelong learning’. From this review, we sought to distil a set of constructs along with recommended quantitative instruments and/or items, which were both contextually relevant and motivated by evidence based rationale. Ideally, this rationale represents a crucial step toward the construction of an instrument capable of assessing transition outcomes among transition-age youth (including SA-YES alumni), and provides a template for operationalizing and measuring the remaining three domains of independent living. Furthermore, this research sought to identify the gaps in the current literature and available measures in order to highlight pressing omissions in our knowledge and methods for interrogating transition outcomes.
care-leaving; South Africa; outcomes
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Conference paper
Loynes, L.2016
Youth leaving care in South Africa: A resource-constrained environment
33rd FICE Congress & CYC World Conference
care-leaving; South Africa
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Thesis / dissertation
Luboyera, F.2014
Unsettled youth: Examining the life experiences of resettled youth raised under institutional care in Uganda
This study is purposely looking at issues institutionalization and experiences of resettled youth resulting from the social and economic challenges that affects them in independent living, tackling how they are negotiating and overcoming them. Basing on the fact that there is a high mushrooming rate of care institutions in Uganda, the reproduction of misery life among youth resettled from care institutions has become inevitable. This study also shows how effects of institutionalization begins affecting children while still on care and later magnifies when they exit and live on their own, limiting the existing social capital which they give a justification for admitting children in these institutions. The study also nuances the term used by the care institution, ‘resettled’ therefore arguing from the findings that the youth were unsettled due to the lacking of social support networks, which came out as the main challenge for the youths in independent living. Since this challenge and others were rooted into their being institutionalized, the study therefore suggests de institutionalizing and embrace alternative care so that that the cycle of these challenges can be broken. RELEVANCE TO DEVELOPMENT STUDIES. Many scholars have conducted studies along the lines of these care institutions but concentrated on children and very little has been on youths that exited. There this study comes to fill that gap and contribute knowledge into this field. The fact remains that there is a strong connection between care institutions and the creation of orphan industry for many reasons to institutionalize children. To remove children from communities due to broken and damaged social protection systems may be a valid reason but it remains that they send them back to the communities in a much worse situation than they found them. Therefore arguing against the notion of institutionalization in the interest of alternative care in Ugandan context, is advantageous to give these young people spaces to be in position to experience normal lives like their counterparts. To embrace the alternative care framework gives care institutions space to spend less since alternative care has been proved cheaper, putting the right people like grandparents to take up the role care giving who have been proved to be very resourceful in this role by scholars in this field. Therefore massive campaigns should be undertaken to have most of the children deinstitutionalized to break the cycle of these social and economic challenges re occurring when they start to venture into independent living.
care-leaving; Uganda; Care Institutions, resettled youth, Institutionalizing, Alternative care, care givers; Deinstitutionalisation
12/8/2018 12:21:00ReportMamelani2013
Transitional support: The experiences and challenges facing youth transitioning out of state care in the Western Cape
care-leaving; south africa
12/8/2018 12:21:00Journal article
Manful, E., Takyi, H. and Gambrah, E.
Admission to exit: Acquiring life skills whilst in residential care in Ghana
Social Work & Society13(2), 1-13
The objective of the study was to explore how children in a State residential care are prepared for independent living hence a qualitative research design, using ethnography, was deemed appropriate for the study.
residential care; care-leaving; Ghana
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Thesis / dissertation
Maposa, J. F.2010
An outcome evaluation of Mamelani Projects' Youth Development Programme
Youths living in foster care homes within South Africa are required by law to leave these places of care when they reach the age of majority (18). To assist the successful integration of these youths into society, services that include mentorship, daily life skills training, housing support, job training, healthcare, counselling services and educational scholarships can be provided to these youths prior to their aging out of care. All these services fall under the field of youth development, whose main function is to empower youths by fostering self-direction and skills development through encouraging personal responsibility in the health and physical, personal and social, cognitive and creative, vocational and civic arenas (Hudson, 1997). To assist male foster care youths living at the Homestead Children’s Home in Khayelitsha, Mamelani Projects established a youth development programme named Project Lungisela in 2005. The established programme aims to prepare male youths living at the foster care home aged between 16 and 17 to become independent, responsible and contributing members of society after they graduate out of care (Mamelani Projects Annual Report, 2009). The focus of this outcome evaluation was to determine whether the programme had contributed to the successful integration of these at-risk youths into society. The first phase of the outcome evaluation involved the description of the intervention’s activities and the intended outcomes for the youths after programme participation. The programme’s medium-term outcomes consisted of the youths gaining work experience through internships and finding suitable accommodation prior to their aging out of care. Long term outcomes consisted of the youths gaining full time employment and living healthy, independent lives after transitioning out of care. Plausibility of the programme’s theory was then assessed through a literature review and appraisal of similar at-risk youth development interventions. The literature review confirmed that the intervention’s programme theory was generally sound. The evaluator did however University of Cape Town 3 introduce two suggestions (the introduction and prioritisation of an educational support activity and the disaggregation of programme outcomes into short-, medium-, and long-term outcomes) to strengthen the programme’s plausibility. Revised short-term outcomes consisted of the youths improving their life-skills, career identification-skills, relationship building skills and getting a health check prior to aging out of care. Medium-term outcomes consisted of the youths having access to suitable accommodation, living healthy life styles, gaining work experience via an internship and having contact with support structures six months after graduating out of care. Long-term outcomes included the youths living independently, maintaining a healthy life style, being gainfully employed and being involved in the community in 2010. The programme’s short- and medium-term outcomes were assessed through the review of programme records and discussions with programme staff. For long term outcomes, the evaluator designed a paper-based questionnaire which adopted sections of Bigelow, Gareau & Young’s (1991) quality of life questionnaire. The paper based questionnaire was administered to programme beneficiaries for the youths to voluntarily fill in after their weekly mentorship sessions in July, 2010. The findings of this outcome evaluation suggest that the beneficiaries of Mamelani’s Project Lungisela struggle to obtain employment, suitable accommodation and an above minimum wage income after they graduate out of foster care. It appears that the attainment of employment and accommodation outcomes is linked to the educational level that the youths would have attained prior to aging out of care. It is therefore suggested that Mamelani’s Project Lungisela intensifies current activities and prioritises the introduction of educational support for future programme beneficiaries.
care-leaving; youth development; outcome evaluation; South Africa
12/8/2018 12:21:00Journal article
Maposa, J. F. and Louw-Potgieter, J.
An outcome evaluation of a youth development programme
Social Work/Maatskaplike Werk
48(2), 170-189
The Child Care Act of South Africa (1983) requires children who are in children’s homes to leave these places of care once they reach 18 years of age. Research indicates that youths aging out of foster care are more likely to experience homelessness, unemployment, substance abuse and lack of basic healthcare services (Courtney, Drowsy, Ruth, Havelock & Boost, 2005). Atkinson (2008:195) points out that as a result a life marked by traumatic experiences and their lengthy time on the streets, foster care youths often lack the basic skills necessary for independence such as keeping appointments, managing a bank account, finding housing, shopping for groceries, cooking meals, driving a car and taking public transportation.
care-leaving; South AFrica
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Conference paper
Marx, P. and Dickens, L. F.2015
Successing’ or despair? The journey out of care
NACCW 20th Biennial Conference (Advocacy, Development, Professionalism)
Youth leaving care are of the most vulnerable people on earth. Extensive international research in the field of youth leaving care has emphasised this point (for example, Stein, 2012). Yet very little research has taken place in our country, or developing countries around the world, in this field. Knowledge of this fact should heighten our accountability to the outcomes for care-leavers. ‘How successful are our youth when they leave? Do they end up finding a happy life for themselves or, do they generally live a life of struggle and despair where they are unable to make positive contributions to their family and society?’ Girls and Boys Town (GBT) has endeavoured to establish a research project to begin to answer some of these questions. This began with an initial phase in exploring the journeys of youth who had left GBT five years earlier. The current study, Growth Beyond the Town, uses a longitudinal approach, incorporating both qualitative and quantitative methods in gathering data from youth, each year after leaving care. The qualitative aspect seeks to capture the young peoples’ experiences and opinions since leaving care, while the quantitative data measures the youths’ outcomes against established indicators for successful independence. Additionally, the study measures the resilience levels of the youth at disengagement and assesses how these relate to their outcomes after leaving care. This presentation will focus on sharing the results of the three years of this study and how these could impact practice.
care-leaving; south africa
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Conference paper
Marx, P. and Dickens, L. F.2016
Towards minimum standards for youth leaving care
NACCW Western Cape Region Mini Conference
Once youth leave institutional care, they face tremendous vulnerabilities. As such, they are susceptible to a range of poor outcomes as they navigate the treacherous journey of establishing themselves as young adults. In order to learn more about these young people after care, Girls and Boys Town (GBT) has been conducting a longitudinal study on care-leavers for the past five years. This study, Growth Beyond the Town, collects data about the youth as they disengage and then follows-up annually with the youth to hear their stories and measure their outcomes. We are particularly interested in gathering quantitative data regarding accommodation, employment, education, finances, substance abuse, crime, relationships, and health and well-being. We also capture the care-leavers experiences and opinions since leaving care, including the challenges and successes they face on their journeys. In gathering these forms of data we try to understand what factors in care facilitate positive adjustment, so that we can improve their chances of success in later life. As the project is in its fifth year, we are now in a better position to guide and offer recommendations for practice. In consultation with staff at GBT, we are using our data to make suggestions regarding 'minimum standards' for GBT care-leavers when they disengage, which we believe may improve the likelihood they will have smoother transitions and increased success after care. This presentation will offer two case studies that document the youth’s journeys since leaving GBT and thereafter, make recommendations for certain minimum criteria that could be in place prior to disengagement. While these suggestions are applicable for the staff and youth at GBT, they may offer some insight to other CYCCs which could improve the chances of success for their youth after they leave care.
care-leaving; South Africa
12/8/2018 12:21:00ReportMarx, P. and Dickens, L. F.2016
Five years on: Practice recommendations from the Growth Beyond the Town research project
This report puts forward several practical recommendations based on the findings of the Growth Beyond the Town study, five years since it began. It uses a case study of one of the participants to show how there is insufficient preparation for youth before they leave care. After describing central themes coming out of the research, three recommendations for practice are made: First, we suggest more specific formal minimum criteria are established before youth can even be considered ready for disengagement. Second, we propose that in care work must be focused on highlighting the aftercare reality for youth. Third, we also suggest that legislation needs to be used to enhance support for transitioning youth. The report closes with an analogy of a wheel, which intends to help frame the focus of work with youth in care, to preparing them for aftercare.
care-leaving; South Africa
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Conference paper
Marx, P. and Dickens, L. F.2017
Leaving care: The challenges of preparation
NACCW 21th Biennial Conference
Leaving residential care places youth at risk for a range of poor outcomes as they are forced into adulthood often before they are adequately prepared. Unlike many developed countries, the transition into independent living often occurs at a younger age and less gradually than is generally experiences by other youth. In our endeavor to learn more about care-leavers, Girls and Boys Town (GBT), has been running a mixed-methods longitudinal study for the past six years on youth leaving their care. This research, named Growth Beyond the Town, collects information from care-leavers as they are about to disengage from GBT and then conducts annual follow-up interviews with them to investigate how they are doing. In particular, we ask care-leavers to tell us about their stories and examine specific outcome areas in their lives. The types of outcomes we investigate include their accommodation situation, employment, education, finances, substance abuse, crime, relationships, and health and well-being. We also ask questions about the challenges and successes they have faced each year, and what facilitates their overcoming of the hardships they may have faced. In this way, we are able to learn more about their resilience, and what aspects help them bounce back from difficulties. This presentation will offer a combination of some of our most recent results on the outcomes of care-leavers as well as the implications of these results for practice. Particularly, it will include information about selected outcomes of care-leavers once they disengage from GBT. It will also show which factors at disengagement are most important in promoting better outcomes after care. Recommendations for practice will be represented by direct quotes taken youth interviews.
care-leaving; south africa
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Thesis / dissertation
Meyer, I. J.2003
A phenomenological enquiry into the experience of a late adolescent state care leaver
Honourscare-leaving; South Africa
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Thesis / dissertation
Meyer, I. J.2008
The experience of a late adolescent state care leaver: A phenomenological study
Department of Psychology
The long-term purpose of the study was to discover relevant and new knowledge, and to create a better undersatnding of the experiences of the late adolescent state care leaver in the South African context. The following research questions were asked: How does the late adolescent leaving state care (childrren's homes) after completing high school experience adaptation into society? Does their experience have an effect on their perception of their own healthy psychological and social development? Can psychologists or researchers learn more about late adolescent transition into adulthood form looking at the experience of this subculture in the South African society?
care-leaving; SOUTH Africa
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Thesis / dissertation
Miller, B.2004
The adjustment of boys from Boys Town South Africa’s programmes within the first year after disengagement
This study investigated the adjustment of twenty boys a year after they had been disengaged from Boys Town (SA). An exploratory descriptive design was used. Two questionnaires were administered, one to the twenty boys and the other to their caregivers. Biographical details were obtained from the Proposed Disengagement forms completed by the Children’s homes six months prior to disengagement. Sixty boys were disengaged at the end of 2002. All were targeted to take part. The results showed that fifty percent of the boys were able to make a satisfactory adjustment. Twenty five percent made an unsatisfactory adjustment and twenty five percent a neither satisfactory nor unsatisfactory adjustment. Stability in terms of accommodation, school performance, work stability, family relationships, peer relations, social adjustment and generalized contentment formed the criteria against which the adjustment was measured. The use made by the boys and their caregivers of reconstruction and aftercare services as well as the sustainability of the changes that had occurred at Boys Town were examined. Recommendations include the development of a specialized aftercare programme to address the major problems highlighted by the research. Problems were identified in the areas of accommodation, substance abuse, dropping out of school or college and difficulties with finding work. The need for counseling particularly family therapy and work between sons and their fathers, stepfathers and foster fathers was highlighted.
care-leaving; South Africa
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Thesis / dissertation
Mmusi, F. I.2013
Description and assessment of care leavers’ application of social skills into independent living
This qualitative study focuses on the description and assessment of care leavers’ application of social skills into independent living. Information was gathered through semi-structured interviews with open-ended questions. The sample comprised ten young men who had been in the care of GBTSA for at least two years and who left care at the age of 17-19 years between two and five years ago. Findings of the study indicate that care leavers are faced with ongoing challenges that force them to mature more quickly than their other peers. As a result, care leavers often have to rely on skills learned while in care in dealing with these challenges. Care leavers’ understanding of skills learned and how they have used the skills in their adult life were assed based on their lived experiences. This was done through care leavers identifying the skills they remember learning and reflecting on how they have applied these skills in their adult lives. Based on the objectives of the study and its findings, recommendations are made which include: GBTSA to explore and develop a structured mentoring programme that can be incorporated with its independent living programme to provide ongoing support to care leavers. Concerns were identified in areas such as generalisation and internalisation of skills learned, applicability of skills in “real life” contexts and a need for an ongoing support base to motivate and encourage care leavers.
care-leaving; social skills training; SOUTH Africa
12/8/2018 12:21:00Journal article
Mmusi, F. I. and Van Breda, A. D.
Male care-leavers’ transfer of social skills from care into independent living in South Africa
Children and Youth Services Review
Residential child and youth care centres typically provide programmes to develop the social and life skills of the children in care, on the assumption that these skills will equip them for adult life. However, there is little research to show whether and how these skills are transferred from the child care setting to young adulthood. This qualitative study investigates how a sample of male care-leavers from Girls and Boys Town South Africa transferred these social skills into independent living. Qualitative, semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten young men who had left care 2-5 years previously. Content analysis of the data was conducted. Findings indicate that participants could recall the skills they had learned in care and reflect on how they have applied these skills in their adult lives. In many cases, skills that were lost or abandoned were later recovered during times of crisis; and many participants adapted the skills to be more applicable in their adult world contexts. Teaching social and life skills, using rigorous and structured methods, appears to be a useful intervention with long-term benefits to young people after leaving care. However, the flexible and context-specific use of these skills should also be emphasised.
care-leaving; South AFrica; Youth transitions. ; Independent living programme. ; Social skills. ; Out-of-home care.
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Conference paper
Moodley, R.2017
Deliberating ethical issues and structural factors influencing services appropriate for youth transitioning out of care: An Afrocentric perspective
Social Work Conference 2017
Social reform can liberate and empower youth by protecting them from poverty and other hardships when transitioning out of residential care and thereby, alleviate ethical issues faced by their service providers, as was evident in Global North. African Countries lagging behind on human development should consider the relevance of African indigenous knowledge within the current context. The recently established Africa Network for care-leaving researchers provides greater insight and opportunities for sharing developments within and outside Africa as research finds its way home in practice when knowledge is modified to the context. To this end, the voices of 16 youth on three psycho-social dimensions i.e. accommodation, educational and contact with service providers when transitioning out of residential care in EThekwini, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa hopes to expose ethical issues for policy and practice. In provoking critical thinking this sub-set of preliminary findings is complemented by the family caregivers/significant other and service provider’s perspectives, as part of the broader study within a structural social work framework. The South African Children’s Act, 38 of 2005 is yet to enforce appropriate and relevant resources for youth transitioning out of residential care. The main finding was that youth were taught resilience to prepare for a life of poverty and/or “independent living”, as a normality, after being socialized within a sheltered and protected environment of routine and entitlement within residential care facilities. Not all youth submitted but then too, sometimes, unplanned structural changes as the closure of transitioning homes or, appearance of unknown relative/s had disrupted “fixed” plans. However, relationships and interdependency were significant variables for resourcefulness in securing alternative accommodation and educational needs.
care-leaving; South Africa
12/8/2018 12:21:00Journal article
Muguwe, E., Taruvinga, F., Manyumwa, E. and Shoko, N.
Re-integration of institutionalised children into society: A case study of Zimbabwe
Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa
13(8), 142-149
The study examined the successes and challenges that Zimbabwe has experienced in process of reintegration of institutionalized children into society. The study was informed by the mixed methods research design. The sample comprised of nine randomly selected children’s homes out of a total of seventy two registered children‘s homes in the country. Considerable progress has been made towards achieving the goal of reintegration. The study established that a National child Care Standards document has been drafted by the Ministry of Labour and Social services to facilitate the process of reintegration ,while most institutions have built family type structures to replace the dormitory set up that existed before. Support systems to enhance the process of reintegration have been put in place as evidenced by organs such the National Action Plan housed under the Ministry of Labour and Social Services. The main challenges identified by the study were inadequate financial resources to carry a full scale reintegration process and the difficulties experienced in identifying institutionalized children’s familial origins. The study recommends that government avails more funds through the department of social services to enhance the reintegration process.
care-leaving; Zimbabwe; AFRICA
12/8/2018 12:21:00Journal article
Muller, K. S., Jansen van Rensburg, M. S. and Makobe, M. K.
The experience of successful transition from a children’s home to independent living
Social Work/Maatskaplike Werk
39(3), 199-211
The research explores the experience of growing up in a children’s home, as well as the experience of having to make a transition from a children’s home to society. It wants to know from individuals who have lived this experience, what they believe aided them in attaining success and what has hindered their strivings. In consultation with SOS Children’s Villages, the researchers chose to follow a positive ethos similar to Cooperrider’s Appreciative Inquiry (Hammond, 1996). Appreciative inquiry is a theory of organisational change that focuses on “what works” rather than traditional “what is broken” models of problem solving (Hammond, 1996). The underlying assumptions of appreciative inquiry are (1) “in every society, organisation or group, something works” and (2) “what we focus on becomes our reality” (Hammond, 1996:4). Consequently, the present research is aimed at learning, “what works” from the experience of those that have grown up in their villages.
care-leaving; south africa; SOS; Appreciative inquiry; youth transitions
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Thesis / dissertation
Nshinyimana, B.2014
Experiences of children regarding the care received at Windhoek residential Child Care facilities
It is the fundamental right of a child to grow in a safe, nurturing, consistent care-giving environment, free from maltreatment such as physical, sexual and emotional abuse, neglect and inadequate physical care. Unfortunately, many children are deprived of parental care due to various circumstances and continuously seek care and protection. One of the solutions to the lack of provision of care to children in need is to place such a child in a Residential Child Care Facility. However, Residential Child Care Facilities are not always the best solution, as designated caregivers and staff do not always consider the emotional and developmental needs of children entrusted to them. This undermines the quality of childcare in these facilities. The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the children’s experiences regarding the care received at the Residential Child Care Facilities (RCCFs) in Windhoek. For this study, a qualitative, explorative, descriptive, and contextual design was used. The target population was all children living in Windhoek-registered RCCFs. The sample comprised 30 children who could understand and speak English, aged 15 to 18 years, from the three purposefully selected registered RCCFs located in Windhoek. Research ethics related to dealing with children, such as autonomy, anonymity, beneficence, confidentiality, justice, sensitivity to specific needs, participation and protection, were adhered to. The situational analysis revealed both negative and positive experiences of care in RCCFs as discussed in themes. Relationships with their caregivers and the rest of the staff in the facilities were identified as the first theme and description of relationships was identified into different sub-themes of mutual respect, good communication, love, support and care. Another sub-theme under this theme is the participation in decision making in their everyday lives, either as positive or negative experiences such as being uncomfortable, lonely and sad. The second theme was the provision of their basic needs and the sub-themes were described as education, material (food, clothing and shelter), health and protection. The third theme was cultural identity with sub-themes described as knowing their family background, mother tongue and religion. The last theme identified was uncertainty of their future as they were not prepared to leave the care and they voiced bad experiences of children who previously left the care because they were not able to cope with the outside world. This study recommends that a conducive environment that contributes to the quality of care for children in Residential Child Care Facilities be established, taking into consideration human resources capacity, policy guidelines and standards in place while providing care to those children.
residential care; care-leaving; Namibia
12/8/2018 12:21:00Journal article
Nurcombe-Thorne, A., Nadesan, V. S. and Van Breda, A. D.
Experiences of ‘I’ and ‘we’ among former looked-after children in South Africa
Child and Family Social Work
23(4), 640-648
This article examines the care experiences of former looked-after children from a residential care setting in South Africa. There is only limited research among care-leavers in South Africa, and even less on their experiences of being in care. Six young adults who had been in residential care participated in individual and focus group interviews. The research was informed by Rogers’ Person-Centred Approach. Two central themes emerged from the data, viz. experiences concerning the ‘I’ – the self of the young person – and experiences concerning the ‘we’ – the young person in relationship with her or his social environment. Within each of these themes, participants raised both positive and negative experiences, many of which continued to shape them well after leaving care. The findings emphasise the importance of the self-in-context and the need for child care settings to strike a balance between the individual and communal needs of looked-after children. These findings have implications both for child and youth care practice and for the management of child and youth care facilities.
Looked after children; residential care; person centred approach; belonging; ; care-leaving in South Africa
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Thesis / dissertation
Oelofsen, M.2015
Young adults' experiences of their transition from residential care to independent living
Against the background of various challenges faced by young adult care leavers and ongoing debates on care leaving interventions in contemporary South Africa, the researcher aimed to explore five selected participants’ experiences and related narratives of their transition from residential care to independent living. The working assumption was that the lived experiences of young adult care leavers who made the journey to independent living could be useful in developing guidelines for professionals in their facilitation of support for young care leavers who reside in residential care. Methodologically, the study followed a qualitative instrumental case study research design, anchored in an interpretivist paradigm. The data for this study was collected in three phases. In the first phase of the study, the researcher conducted semi-structured telephonic interviews with eight prospective participants. Based on the data collected from these semi-structured telephonic interviews, the researcher purposively selected five primary participants to participate in the research study. During the second phase of the study, the researcher used multiple data collection methods with the five selected primary participants, such as semi-structured interviews, narrative case inquiries, post-modern data collection methods, and analysis of existing material and documents (archival research). During the third phase of the research process, the researcher conducted reflective and dyad interviews with secondary participants. In addition, the researcher used observation (Terre Blanche & Durrheim, 1999) throughout the sessions with primary and secondary participants. She documented her observations in a reflective diary and in the form of field notes. Furthermore, with regard to data documentation, she made audio-recordings of interviews and narrative case inquiries, and kept visual data of activities and media for the duration of the study (Mayan, 2001). Following an inductive thematic analysis, three main themes emerged: pre-transition phase, transition phase and post-transition phase. The findings of the current study showed that young adult care leavers displayed distinctive and significant features during their transition to independent living. One of the findings was that care leavers experienced various challenges during the pre-transition, transition and post-transition phases to independent living. Care leavers identified their pre-transition needs for stable relationships, education, life skills, therapeutic support and self-determination. Related findings showed that care leavers were not prepared for the transition process during placement in care, and subsequently experienced feelings of uncertainty and anxiety upon departure from care. In the transition phase, participants experienced feelings of loneliness and isolation due to a lack of emotional support from places of care. Care leavers displayed difficulty in forming and maintaining relationships, and they felt vulnerable due to being stigmatized. They furthermore participated in harmful behaviour. During the post-transition phase, young adult care leavers demonstrated resilient processes as they mobilised relationships, street-smarts, reflective learning, goals, life lessons and religion to ameliorate the impact of the transition process. Most importantly, young adults’ experiences of their transition from residential care to independent living provided insight into potential ways that places of care could apply address transition challenges on an interpersonal and intrapersonal level, to facilitate care leavers’ adjustment into independent living. The study provides empirical evidence to broaden the current knowledge base on young adult care leavers’ transition from residential care to independent living. The study contributes to the existing knowledge base by firstly highlighting young adult care leavers’ experiences in the pre-transition, transition and post-transition phases. Secondly, the study introduces findings regarding young adult care leavers’ mental health, educational attainment, employment, life skills and relationships. Thirdly, the study contributes to new insight into possible challenges that care leavers could encounter on a daily basis, as well as the various kinds of services that could be provided to address transition barriers. Finally the study conjectures the interconnectedness between the transition experiences of young adult care leavers and transition guidelines, in the sense that implementation of interventions could be based on the lived experiences of young adult care leavers who have transitioned to adulthood. Within the context of the existing knowledge base on transition interventions, the findings suggest that care leavers could be prepared for the transition process by care-driven support initiatives. Firstly, the study brings greater insight into integrated transition initiatives that could be mobilised in the pretransition, transition and post-transition phases. Secondly, the findings provide insight into potential ways in which places of care can address in-care and after-care services in support of young adult care leavers, possibly within diverse contexts. Thirdly, the study contributes to new insight into the development and expansion of independent living programmes that could be mobilised for transition support and the promotion of positive adult outcomes for care leavers. Finally the study provides insight into potential ways in which professionals, such as social workers, educators, counsellors, weekend carers and psychologists, who are involved at children’s homes, could provide support, while youth are still in care, or in the form of aftercare services, which could facilitate the transition into independent living.
care-leaving; South Africa
12/8/2018 12:21:00Other
Pauw, N., Hodgkinson, K., Le Mat, M. and van Dam, K.
The social exclusion of vulnerable youth: Synthesis report
This report presents the results of a scientific research on the topic of Social Exclusion of Vulnerable Youth, commissioned by SOS Children’s Villages Netherlands and conducted by researchers of the Amsterdam Institute of Social Science Research (AISSR) at the University of Amsterdam, in collaboration with local counterparts within the six study countries. The purpose of the research is to identify and understand the multi-dimensional drivers of social exclusion of vulnerable youth, which concerns youth who have lost, or are at risk of losing parental care. Specifically, the objective of this synthesis research is to answer the main question: How are vulnerable youth affected by social exclusion in terms of their human wellbeing, employability and social acceptance?
in care; care-leaving; Côte d’Ivoire, ; Guatemala, ; Indonesia, ; Kenya, ; Malawi and ; the Netherlands
12/8/2018 12:21:00Journal articlePinkerton, J.2011
Constructing a global understanding of the social ecology of leaving out of home care
Children and Youth Services Review
33(12), 2412-2416
Engagement with globalisation is growing in the field of youth transitions from out of home care. This includes cross national exchange of research, policy and practise, regional advocacy networking and global policy development. Furthering this emerging international child welfare perspective requires extending it to countries in the developing world and building conceptual frameworks which encompass a social ecology of care leaving, including its global dimension, the latter needs to address not only the needs, expectations and rights of care leavers but also the theories of change underpinning service design and delivery. Such a model is presented combining resilience and social capital as personal assets situated within a social ecology of support. To illustrate how this provides a means to help engage with the experience of countries where there appears to be very little information available on care leaving, a small scale South African initiative is considered. SA-YES is a youth mentoring project for young people leaving a variety of out of home placements. Planned as a three-year pilot, initial results are encouraging but require more rigorous evaluation focusing on program process and outcomes, quality of interpersonal relationships and synchronisation with cultural expectations and policy environment.
Youth transitions; Out of home care; Leaving care; International child welfare; Youth mentoring; South Africa; care-leaving; resilience; Resilience in South Africa
12/8/2018 12:21:00Book chapter
Pinkerton, J. and Van Breda, A. D.
Policy as social ecological resilience scaffolding for leaving care: A case study of South Africa
Leaving care and the transition to adulthood: International contributions to theory, research and practice
Policy as Social Ecological Resilience Scaffolding for Leaving Care: A Case Study of South Africa argues that social policy on leaving care is a critical resilience process for promoting emerging adults’ successful transition out of care. Care-leaving literature has given limited attention to the wider policy contexts in which care-leavers make this transition. This chapter argues for a better understanding of how these contexts can bolster the social ecology of care-leaving by providing a policy scaffolding to the support and services required by care-leavers. South Africa is used to illustrate the argument, capitalising on the heightened political sensibilities of a society still grappling with the legacy of apartheid and committed to developmental social welfare as a strategic policy direction. The chapter concludes that the South African case study not only highlights the need to address the policy context of youth transitioning from out-of-home care, but also demonstrates the benefits of cross-national reflection on policy and practice development and implementation.
care-leaving; social policy; resilience in South Africa
12/8/2018 12:21:00Journal article
Pryce, J. M., Jones, S. L., Wildman, A., Thomas, A., Okrzesik, K. and Kaufka-Walts, K.
Aging out of care in Ethiopia: Challenges and implications facing orphans and vulnerable youth
Emerging Adulthood4(2), 119-130
This interpretive study examines the experiences of 54 Ethiopian emerging adults who had aged out of institutional care facilities. Findings are derived from interviews and focus groups in which questions and activities focused on the challenges faced by participants and the supports they relied on throughout the transition process. These young adults reported facing many challenges upon leaving care, including difficulty finding gainful and interesting employment, a lack of many basic life skills, difficulty finding a support network, and significant stigma in the community due to their background in care. These challenges led to problems in creating any security during this life stage, including obtaining both housing and employment. In the midst of these many challenges, participants consistently reported that they turned to other care alumni for both material and emotional support. This article seeks to develop a beginning understanding of the complex dynamics of navigating emerging adulthood following transition from institutional care in Ethiopia.
emerging adulthood, orphaned and vulnerable youth, international; care-leaving; Africa; Ethiopia
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Thesis / dissertation
Reuben, S.2017
A qualitative evaluation of the St George’s Home Life Campus Programme for Young People
Social WorkMasters
CYCCs easily overlook the monitoring and evaluation aspects of their programmes, given the complex and challenging environment in which they operate to provide care to children and young people. Previous research also shows that young people face challenges related to their physical, emotional, social and financial support when they transition out of care. Thus, the focus is to provide the best services to these young people so that they develop the ability to know where, how and when to use their energies to improve themselves and how to seek help in their favour. The main aim of this study was a qualitative evaluation of the Life Campus Programme (LCP) St George’s Home, a programme of COACH. The LCP is a short-term residential care programme, where children are admitted to through the Children’s Act No. 38 of 2005. The LCP is expensive to run and funding has become increasingly scarce. In this context, programme evaluation plays an important dual role of ensuring that money is being spent wisely on a programme that really does work and providing evidence of success to secure additional funding. The study employed a qualitative research design, and data was collected via interviews utilizing a semi-structured interview schedule. The research population was all the young people who had exited the LCP in the year prior to data collection. The research sample consisted of 11 participants who had left the LCP a year ago. Data was analysed using thematic content analysis. The findings generated showed that participants remembered and are using some of the skills that were taught to them. The perceptions of the young people indicated that they benefited from the LCP; the majority were grateful for their learnings and that it indeed built skills that they are using in their home environment today. Thus on a positive note, while their struggles and hardships continue in their everyday life, the participants are able to show resilience in dealing with some of life’s challenges.
care-leaving; preparation for adulthood; preparation for leaving care; South AFrica; Independent living programme.
12/8/2018 12:21:00OtherRoeber, E.2011
A fair chance to life: Young care-leavers in Kenya
177 young people (care-leavers in Kenya) participated in the research project. The study suggests that the majority of the young people who participated are somehow stuck in transition and are vulnerable to exclusion from a society they neither feel well equipped nor prepared for having left a care institution. Many of them lack social and psychological coping strategies; they do not have adequate jobs or job skills; and there is no safety net or supportive network in the communities that could assist the young people when leaving a care institution. Generally, it is understood that a person who turns 18 does not need any assisting services. However, KNCL believes that at this crucial stage young people need support, as many of them are searching their idendity and at the same time trying to be independent. In addition, many of the participants were markedly creative in finding options to further their education or creating activities for their living. Informal networks proved to be helpful in this context providing crucial support for daily life. The use of photography, chosen to encourage youth-led activities and reduce the researcher‘s influence, led to important insights documenting young care leavers‘ perceptions directly. Overall, it is hoped that this study provides a number of useful insights into youth transition from institutional care and that it makes a contribution for further scholarly investigation of the subject.
care-leaving; Kenya; Africa
12/8/2018 12:21:00ReportSauls, H. and Esau, F.2015
An evaluation of family reunification services in the Western Cape: Exploring children, families and social workers’ experiences of family reunification services within the first twelve months of being reunified
The main aim of this project was to explore how children, their families and social workers perceive and experience the family reunification process in the first twelve months after reunification. The main focus was on cases in which the child and family were reunified, as opposed to children who ‘aged out’1 from the CYCCs.
care-leaving; Family reunification; South AFrica
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Thesis / dissertation
Takele, A. M.2017
Transitioning to adulthood: Examining aging out of care experiences of adolescent girls in Addis Ababa: The case of Kechene Female Children and Youth Institutional Child Care and Rehabilitation Center
Adolescents‘ transitioning to adulthood is a critical point that demands the support of significant others for the smooth transition of adolescents into independence. Adolescent girls‘ aging out of institutional child care experiences and associated problems are a neglected issue in Ethiopia though adolescent girls who are still in institutional child care and who have already exited from institutional care have been experiencing problems of playing an adult role and reintegrating into the surrounding community upon their discharge from institutional care. To uncover adolescent girls‘ aging out of institutional child care experiences, qualitative descriptive case study design was carried out based on the experiences of three adolescent girls who had already left institutional care and four adolescent girls who are expected to leave care in the year 2015-2017 with particular reference to Kechene Female Children and Youth Institutional Child Care and Rehabilitation Center in Addis Ababa. Data were also collected from two key informants; from one staff of the institution and one Kechene community dweller, seven care givers from the institution, and three professionals working in the institution and in Addis Ababa City Administration Women and Children Affairs Bureau. Participants of the study were recruited via non- probability purposive sampling technique and data were collected through the use of an indepth interview, FGD, Key informant interview, observation, and document review. The generated data were analyzed by using qualitative thematic analysis tool. The study found that adolescent girls‘ emancipation from the institution is done without a well designed path way plan though there is a program called rehabilitation scheme for those adolescent girls screened for leaving care.
care-leaving; Ethiopia; Transition to adulthood, ageing out, institutional care, adolescence, adolescent girls, developmental task, qualitative, descriptive, case study, cross sectional study
12/8/2018 12:21:00Journal articleTanur, C.2012
Project Lungisela: Supporting young people leaving state care in South Africa
Child Care in Practice18(4), 325-340
This paper focuses on appropriate responses to the unique challenges faced by young people at risk who are transitioning out of state care in South Africa. Specific lessons are drawn from Project Lungisela, a youth leaving care programme created to assist young people leaving state care in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. Project Lungisela was initiated by Mamelani Projects, a local non-governmental organisation, in response to the need for support services for youth transitioning out of care, particularly from State children's homes. Support for this target group is neither a well-established nor adequately funded service in South Africa. Most of the children who have participated in the programme have at some stage in their life lived on the street, and many have survived through petty crime with accompanying substance abuse and little or no traditional family support structures. All have exited state care at age 18, as mandated by state regulations for minors attaining the legal age of majority. This paper examines the particular needs of these young people at risk, the interventions implemented to adequately prepare them for leaving state care, the type of support services offered in moving towards independence, the challenges experienced, as well as relevant programme components. The skill of interdependent living is specifically highlighted in preference to independent living skills. This shifts the focus away from young people meeting all of their own needs, to being able to connect them with other young people, to develop networks of support, and to access resources in their community to meet their various needs. This approach has recently been adapted for work with youth who have grown up in foster care. Lessons learnt from working with both target groups are shared in this paper.
Resilience; Care-leaving; foster care; Resilience in South Africa; crime
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Thesis / dissertation
Ucembe, S.2013
Exploring the nexus between social capital and individual biographies of 'care leavers' in Nairobi, Kenya: A life course perspective
Young people leaving institutional care are often labelled “orphans” as children, and “care leavers” as young adults and have been widely neglected in Kenya in policies, and, consequently, excluded from support. As children, they face a multiplicity of vulnerabilities resulting from a lack of necessary support to address underlying structural issues. Mis-identification of risk factors by government and non-governmental organizations often result in unnecessary institutionalization. Within these institutions their vulnerabilities are further reinforced; often socially excluded from normative socio-cultural experiences and enmeshed in abusive, exploitative and neglectful relationships that further disadvantage them when they leave institutions. Employing a life course perspective and drawing upon these young people’s stories, along with focus group discussions and views from staff, this paper explores the concept of social capital and the ways in which this influences their lives before care, in care and after care.
care-leaving; social capital; Kenya; Institution, children, young people,
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Conference paper
Van Breda, A. D.2013
Youth at the crossroads: Transitioning out of care in South Africa
Child and Youth Care World Conference
The journey out of care is a major crossroads for youth – decision, challenges, opportunities. On the way, care-leavers work hard to connect with others who will help them in this journey, while constructing authentic experiences of belonging. Sometimes they seriously mess up, detouring off the path of ‘successing’. But they also show hope and resilience. In this workshop, we explore the findings of on-going research at Girls and Boys Town. We will map out the social processes youth engage in as they navigate out of care, linking to our own experiences of growing up and our work with care-leaving youth.
care-leaving; resilience; South Africa
12/8/2018 12:21:00ReportVan Breda, A. D.2014
Validation of a measure of resilience of youths exiting residential care
This is a report of a validation study of the ‘GBT Questionnaire for Care-Leavers’. This questionnaire was designed in parternship between myself and Girls & Boys Town South Africa (with Lisa Dickens and Peter Marx). The questionnaire measures a range of resilience constructs, intended to assess the resilience of youth in residential care. The validation was conducted with several hundred youth at seven sites (including schools and child & youth care centres) in three cities in South Africa.
Resilience; care-leaving; South Africa; measurement; scale
12/8/2018 12:21:00
Conference paper
Van Breda, A. D.2015
Young people leaving residential care in South Africa: Risk and resilience at 12 and 24 months after leaving care
Journal of Youth Studies Conference
The vulnerability of care-leavers – those young people transitioning out of residential care – has been increasingly recognised by researchers internationally. Within the context of the widespread vulnerability of contemporary youth, those who enter and subsequently transition out of care are regarded as among the most vulnerable. This situation appears to be no less true in South Africa, though little research has been conducted on care-leavers. An important aspect of care-leaving research is tracking young people as they transition out of care and into young adulthood. This paper presents data on the first longitudinal study on care-leaving in South Africa. Seventeen young men who were about to leave the care of Girls & Boys Town South Africa at the end of 2012 were enrolled into the study and completed a battery of assessments of their individual, relational and community resilience. Fourteen of these men were followed up 12 and 24 months after leaving care, where they were assessed on a range of outcome variables, including accommodation, NEET, finances, drug and alcohol use, and well-being. The shifts in outcomes from 12 to 24 months are discussed.
Resilience in South Africa; care-leaving; transitions; youth; residential care; resilience; South Africa; social work