Improving services and outcomes for care leavers

Problems during the transition from childhood to adulthood

While many young people experience difficulties and challenges during their youth, care leavers suffer more than most. This exclusive research was commissioned to determine if more needs to be done to support care leavers and improve their outcomes.

‘Life after care’

104

Our final report included a number of key recommendations for the development of care leaving services

Commissioned jointly by Children and Young People Now magazine and the Care Leavers’ Foundation, the project coincided with two events which were expected to have a direct impact on care leaving services: the passing of the 2008 Children and Young Persons Bill and National Care Leavers’ Week.

41 young people who had been in care were invited to join a series of focus groups dedicated to:

  • understanding the issues faced by care leavers
  • assessing their perceptions of what leaving care meant
  • discussing how care leaving services could be improved

The discussion guide, developed with the assistance of former care leavers, was left deliberately open to encourage the young people to express their views in an unprompted way. Activities such as time lines and image association were used to enable the young people to express their views in a meaningful way.

Shaping the debate

Our final report included a number of key recommendations for the development of care leaving services. The project culminated with a conference where Qa presented the findings to senior politicians and policy makers before some of the young people who contributed to the research were given a further chance to share their views.

Find out more about the research and the report at Care leavers research in CYP Now.

For more details e-mail angela.browne@qaresearch.co.uk or call 01904 632039