Education and employment outcomes for young people leaving care: an undocumented and invisible problem?

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Abstract Summary

A life of independence is an exciting and anxious time for young people. This is even truer for young care leavers, who are expected to very rapidly acquire a level of maturity and self-reliance that will allow them to lead an independent life. What this means in practice is that they need to have the necessary employability skills to enter the labour market, while having to secure housing and financing, or continuing their education. Without assistance and support, care leavers are at high risk of social exclusion. Greater availability of data documenting the circumstances and pathways of these young people would be a first step in quantifying the problem and developing adequate support measures.  Drawing from the results and conclusions of two  international studies on employability and employment outcomes for young people leaving care, conducted by University College London and SOS Children’s Villages International, we will present and discuss findings in relation to care leavers’ progression from care to work. Although data is sparse, it would seem care leavers, in all countries, are disproportionately likely to be excluded from employment and education pathways. Few countries have legislative provision to support care leavers, and support services tend to rely on local initiatives and, often, the work of NGOs. This workshop will present the data in context, discuss some emerging tensions and issues, and present at least one practice initiative from a study country, allowing for engagement and exchange with workshop participants. We will conclude with some policy recommendations for research and practice.


Abstract ID :
Submission Type
90-minute adult workshop session
Abstract Topic
2.2. Formal and informal educational outcomes for children during care and for careleavers