Young People Leaving Care A study of the challenges facing young 'care leavers' as they move from care, their transitions from care and the support they receive after care.

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Hagan, Geraldine
Issue Date
BA (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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This study set out to explore the challenges and difficulties facing young people 'leaving care' and moving towards independent living who are currently accessing Aftercare Services. Prior to the implementation of an aftercare service for young care leavers, a high percentage of young people presented as homeless within six months of leaving care. The aim of the research is to identify if the Aftercare Service has helped to reduce the numbers of young people presenting as homeless within six months of leaving care. Young care leavers are vulnerable as they negotiate the transition from a state of childhood dependency to independent adulthood. This accelerated and compressed transition is mediated by a number of factors, one of which is extended support by a designated aftercare support worker and the presence of trusted adults in the lives of these young people. The Quantitative research method in the form of a questionnaire was employed. The questionnaire is divided into a number of sections. The first section of the questionnaire is concerned with demographic details of the participants. The following sections focus on accommodation, education, social networks, health care, counselling, attachments and contact with family of origin. The importance of attachments in providing support and reducing isolation. The conclusions drawn from this study is that there is a reduction in the numbers of young people presenting as homeless within a six month period of leaving care. The extended support provided by the Aftercare Services provides a safety net to care leavers while they negotiate the transition to adulthood. It provides them with the support to develop social networks, to maintain attachments with previous carers.