Lcs Research

Research Review: YP in LCS

There is a growing body of international research, including both quantitative and
qualitative studies, on young people leaving care. Most of the studies carried out
before 1990 were small-scale exploratory studies, describing and providing insights
into the lives of these young people during their journey from care to living
independently in the community. From 1990 there have been more studies using
different research designs. These include outcome studies, surveys, cohort studies,
policy research, as well as programme evaluations. These studies have complemented
ongoing qualitative work through more quantitative and evaluative outcome research,
including comparative work using normative data from primary or secondary samples
of young people (Stein 2004).This paper will draw upon this empirical portfolio to
review the research evidence in relation to the social exclusion of care leavers, their
transition from care, the services they receive and the outcomes of leaving care
In European social policy discourse, social exclusion has come to mean both material
disadvantage and marginalization (Hill et al. 2004). In this context, international
research has shown the high risk of social exclusion for young people leaving care.
They are more likely than young people who have not been in care to have poorer
educational qualifications, lower levels of participation in post-16 education, be
young parents, be homeless, and have higher levels of unemployment, offending
behaviour and mental-health problems (Festinger 1983; Stein & Carey 1986; Biehal et
al. 1995; Smit 1995; Cashmore & Paxman 1996; Broad 1999; Pinkerton & McCrea
1999; Bilson et al. 2000; Kelleher et al. 2000; Stein et al. 2000; Courtney et al. 2001,
2005; Dixon & Stein 2005).
Also, many of these young people experience a cluster of problems both while they
are in care, including placement instability, stigma and...