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ERIC Number: EJ978953
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 12
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1357-5279
Leaving Care: The Need to Make Connections
Coyle, Deirdre; Pinkerton, John
Child Care in Practice, v18 n4 p297-308 2012
For too many years the phrase "after care, an after thought" summed up the lack of attention given to preparing young people in care for adult life and to the development of leaving-care and aftercare services. That stance has changed in the United Kingdom, however, and indeed has shifted positively and dramatically over the last decade. In 2010 when the British social policy "think tank" Demos published its report on children in state care it highlighted three factors that made for positive experiences of care and best outcomes for looked-after children (Hannon et al., 2010, p. 9). Two of the factors were "stability during care" and "early intervention and minimum delay". The third was "supported transitions to independence". To illustrate best practice in that third area, the Demos report drew attention to what was being done in Northern Ireland (Hannon et al., 2010, pp. 213-219). In this article, the authors agree that "supported transitions" should be regarded as fundamental to the success of any out-of-home care system--although they see that as requiring appropriate forms of "interdependence" not "independence". They also agree that the advances that have been made in Northern Ireland to improving the leaving-care experience deserve recognition. The challenge now for the leaving-care system in Northern Ireland is to demonstrate that measurable effectiveness and improvements in outcomes in the lives of care-leavers is being achieved through best use of current resources. That will be crucial to defending achievements to date as harder choices come to be made over what to fund and what not to fund because of the British Government's austerity programme and its increasingly important, although narrowly conceived, early intervention/prevention agenda. Constant review and critical reflection on practice will be essential. That will require not only scrutinising what is happening in the local system, but also what is going on elsewhere in the world (Pinkerton, 2011). This special issue provides some fascinating glimpses of that and helps make essential international connections. (Contains 1 figure and 2 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)