Care leavers: A British affair

Luke Power, Dennis Raphael

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Individuals in and leaving care within the UK experience numerous dilemmas that include a lack of supportive housing and potential homelessness, lower educational attainment and occupational status, and greater likelihood of moving into poverty. These adverse situations—all of which are interrelated—shape their present and future health status. Models of these processes usually focus on individual behaviours/characteristics, the consolidation of positive identities through the development of supportive networks, and specific social policies germane to this group. Although informative, these models neglect many key contextual factors that shape these outcomes. In this paper, we present a model of care-leaving that incorporates developments in the political economy of health literature to show how differing welfare state arrangements shape health by mediating the distribution of economic and social resources over the life course for populations in general and for those in and leaving care specifically. The key recommendation suggested by this model is to focus upon developing public policies to address the vulnerable situations care leavers experience associated with skewed income distributions, lack of housing affordability, weak employment standards, and lack of access to higher education typical of liberal welfare states such as the UK.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-353
Number of pages8
JournalChild & Family Social Work
Issue number3
Early online date23 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • children in care system
  • comparative child welfare
  • foster care
  • policy/management


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