Instant adulthood and the transition of young people out of state care
Rogers, R. 2011. Instant adulthood and the transition of young people out of state care.
Recent years has seen a shift away from youth transitions being understood in terms of a linear progression towards conventional goals. Instead, it is argued that youth transitions tend to be highly chaotic, involving a non linear and fragmented movement between dependence and independence. Despite these theoretical changes in the understanding of transition to young adulthood, this paper argues that young people leaving the state care system are seldom afforded the luxury of a more gradual and non-linear transition. Instead, for them, the possibilities of adult futures remain marked by chronic and continuing exclusion as they move abruptly into ‘instant adulthood’, with no opportunity to return to the child welfare system should they find themselves unable to make it on their own. Considering evidence from the UK, Australia and the USA this paper outlines the ‘instant adulthood’ experienced by young people leaving state care. The paper then draws specifically from the findings of a research study conducted in 2010 by the author looking at the personal experiences of ‘care leavers’. Drawing from 30 in-depth, tape recorded interviews with young people, social workers and further and higher education institutions, the paper discusses the experiences of young people leaving state care, including its effect over their own sense of fallibility and personal identity.
|Conference||European Conference on Education Research: Urban Education|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||09 Feb 2012|
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