Calling care-experienced young people and professionals who work with care leavers: Your views and experiences
An opportunity to share your experiences of leaving care services in Wales
While progress has been made in improving support structures and welfare provisions for young people leaving care, many still face significant barriers when it comes to accessing education and employment opportunities. Despite ongoing efforts to bridge the gap between care-experienced young people and their peers, there is still much that we do not know about the factors that contribute to these inequalities. To better understand the achievement gap, it is important that we explore lived experiences of care-experienced young people in relation to social welfare policy and legislative structures. It is also important to learn more about the experiences of social care professionals who work with young people leaving care. By getting a clearer picture of care-experienced young people’s perceived agency and the challenges that they face, we can begin to explore how policies and support structures can address the specific needs of care-experienced young people.
I am a PhD researcher at Cardiff University. My personal experiences of leaving care mean that I understand the challenges and barriers that young people in care often face when it comes to accessing education and employment opportunities. I am especially interested in the support and services provided and how these can improve young people’s feelings about agency and control of decisions in their lives. My PhD aims to explore these issues in more depth. By understanding the experiences of care leavers and identifying the factors that contribute to the achievement gap between care-experienced young people and their peers, I hope to develop a better understanding of how policies and support structures can be effectively developed to address the specific needs of care-experienced young people. I am looking for volunteers to help me undertake this research.
- People aged between 18 – 30 years who have spent time in care in Wales and qualified for support on leaving care. This usually means you spent at least 13 weeks in care and were in care on your 16th birthday. It doesn’t matter what job you have or whether or not you have been to university – I would like to hear about all different types of experiences.
- Professionals including social workers and team managers who have experience of working with young people leaving care in Wales.
If you, or anyone you know, would like to take part, you will be invited to join an online video call with me. We will choose a time that suits you. If you are care-experienced, we would talk about your experiences of accessing opportunities and your journey through your transition from care. If you are a social care professional, we would discuss your job role and your experiences of providing leaving care support and services. If you are care-experienced, you will receive a £10 voucher as a thank you for your time.
If you would like some more information, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send you more details about the research and what taking part will involve. Alternatively, if you are care-experienced and aged between 18 – 30 years you can also register your interest in taking part by completing this short survey: https://qfreeaccountssjc1.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6gvNWpuMRfHONFk
It would be much appreciated if you could share these details with any individuals or organisations who could be interested in contributing to this study and sharing their perspectives on how to improve policy and practice.
Samantha Fitz-Symonds – PhD Researcher, Cardiff University