“I wish someone would explain why I am in care”: The impact of children and young people’s lack of understanding of why they are in out-of-home care on their well-being and felt security


Authors: Jo Staines and Julie Selwyn

Year: Jan 2020


Having a good understanding of one’s origins and history is known to be significant in identity development. Drawing on a large-scale online survey of looked after children’s subjective well-being, this paper demonstrates that a significant number of children and young people (age 4–18 years) did not fully understand the reasons for their entry to care. The paper explores the effect of this lack of knowledge on children’s well-being and on their feelings of being settled in their current placement. The study reiterates the need for professionals to be honest and open with children in out-of-home care and the need to specifically address, perhaps repeatedly, why a child is not living with their birth family.

Children and Young People’s Views on Being in Care: A Literature Review


Author: Julie Selwyn, University of Bristol / Coram Voice

Year: 2015

Report Summary:

We are extremely pleased to publish the literature review on ‘Children and Young People’s Views on being in Care’, which seeks to highlight the voices of looked after children from existing research, on their journey through the care system. The review establishes both the positive and adverse experiences for children and young people of being in care and provides them with a platform to be heard without distortion. This literature review supports the Bright Spots project, a research project between the University of Bristol and Coram Voice. The project aims to improve the care journey for all looked after children and highlight the ‘bright spots’ of practice within local authorities that contribute to the positive aspects of being in care. The intention is that local authorities will understand the causes of those bright spots so that they can adopt the very best standards of care. We would like to thank the Hadley Trust for its generous funding and support for the development of the Bright Spots project to improve the life chances of children and young people in care. Thanks to the passion and commitment of our funder, we expect to be able to make a real difference to the lives of this vulnerable group.