Tracking care leavers as they move to independence.

Ward, Jennifer ORCID logoORCID: and Pearson, Geoffrey (2003) Tracking care leavers as they move to independence. Project Report. Economic and Social Research Council. . [Monograph]


There are two interlinked conceptual frameworks at the heart of this study. These are youth to adult transitions and the outcomes of care leavers in the years succeeding their departure from ‘care’. Separately both of these have been a focus of attention and concern in the UK over the last half-decade. A comprehensive body of research has emerged on the youth to adult transition in response to suggestions that this stage in young people’s lives has become more complex than in previous times ( In regard to care leavers, in line with the New Labour government’s ambitions to improve the life chances of those in society who were most excluded, specific groups were highlighted as ‘vulnerable’. It was these groups upon whom policy attention and resources were to be focused. Young care leavers were one of these groups and indeed changes have been made to legislation in order to assist them in their transition from care to independent living. This had the added hope that their longer-term life outcomes might be improved (Department of Health, 2003).

Although no systematic outcome research is undertaken with this population it has often been reported that people with a care history are strong contenders to feature in prison and homeless populations, have disproportionate levels of mental ill-health, are likely to gain few qualifications and are at risk of becoming engaged in sex work. Even though there have been definite improvements to the way young people ‘exit’ the care system, there remains little information on precisely what they go through as they depart from care to live independently. This is in part what this study set out to do. Having a more detailed understanding of what young care leavers go through as they live through this period might in turn help the social care profession to direct and target resources more effectively and at a government level may be helpful in the shaping and development of more relevant policy initiatives and changes for this population.

The study we are reporting here was a follow-up study with a group of young care leavers as they made the transition from care to live independently.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Additional Information: ESRC Award/Grant No. R000223982
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Item ID: 6418
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Devika Mohan
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2010 05:49
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2020 13:47

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.