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Mental health and wellbeing of care leavers: making sense of their perspectives

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Despite considerable quantifiable data about the circumstances of care leavers in the UK, there is less qualitative data about how these circumstances are experienced. The current article is underpinned by positioning theory, with a particular focus on the unfolding personal narratives of young care leavers in relation to their mental health and wellbeing and the role of a life-skills programme in supporting them in this respect. The research illustrates that leaving care projects, such as the one in the current study, are more focused on employment and housing issues than on addressing the mental health and wellbeing needs of young people. Our analysis of interviews with young people illustrates the ambiguity of understandings of concepts such as ‘mental health’ and ‘wellbeing’, and the complexity of responses to questioning around this area. This illustrates one of the major problems in evaluating the outputs and outcomes of such projects in terms of simplistic targets, where mental health and wellbeing are not clearly defined or understood by young people themselves. The current research provides a more complex picture. More research is needed that involves in-depth and longitudinal assessment of specific mental health needs of care leavers and how they can be addressed successfully.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalChild & Family Social Work
Early online date11 Apr 2017
DOIs
StateEarly online - 11 Apr 2017

Documents

  • Mental Health and Wellbeing of Care Leavers

    Rights statement: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Sims-Schouten W, Hayden C. Mental health and wellbeing of care leavers: Making sense of their perspectives. Child & Family Social Work. 2017, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/cfs.12370. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 584 KB, PDF-document

    Due to publisher’s copyright restrictions, this document is not freely available to download from this website until: 11/04/19

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