Instant adulthood and the transition of young people out of state care

Rogers, R. (2011) Instant adulthood and the transition of young people out of state care. In: European Conference on Education Research: Urban Education, 13th-16th September, Berlin.

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Recent years has seen a shift away from youth transitions being understood in terms of a linear progression towards conventional goals. Instead, it is argued that youth transitions tend to be highly chaotic, involving a non linear and fragmented movement between dependence and independence. Despite these theoretical changes in the understanding of transition to young adulthood, this paper argues that young people leaving the state care system are seldom afforded the luxury of a more gradual and non-linear transition. Instead, for them, the possibilities of adult futures remain marked by chronic and continuing exclusion as they move abruptly into ‘instant adulthood’, with no opportunity to return to the child welfare system should they find themselves unable to make it on their own. Considering evidence from the UK, Australia and the USA this paper outlines the ‘instant adulthood’ experienced by young people leaving state care. The paper then draws specifically from the findings of a research study conducted in 2010 by the author looking at the personal experiences of ‘care leavers’. Drawing from 30 in-depth, tape recorded interviews with young people, social workers and further and higher education institutions, the paper discusses the experiences of young people leaving state care, including its effect over their own sense of fallibility and personal identity.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Education > Research Centre for Children, Families and Communities
Depositing User: Users 105 not found.
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2012 13:05
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2014 14:09

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00