Young People Leaving Care. Supporting Pathways to Adulthood

Mike Stein; Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2012

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Reviewed by Áine Rose Kelly, doctoral student at the Rees Centre & care leaver (from April 2015 newsletter).

This book maps out the journey that young people take when leaving the care system. Although young people in care are recognised as being much more vulnerable than their peers, they are often expected to become independent at a much earlier age.

This book mirrors my own experiences of leaving the care system and therefore, I would suggest that it is read by anyone working with young people in or from care. It should be used as a key resource for highlighting some of the challenges that we face during early adulthood when our support from children services has been withdrawn.

The book is split into three easy to follow sections: 1) Policy and context,   2) the main pathways from care to adulthood and 3) the main themes and ideas that informed the book. It provides a comprehensive review of the development of policies in England; at the same time, it also highlights the needs of the most vulnerable young people to leave the care system and suggests ways in which professionals can promote their successful transitions into adulthood.

The responsibility of promoting successful transitions should not just be left to the leaving care teams. All professionals working with young people need to accept collective responsibility and prepare young people for independence throughout their journey through the care system.