'It was me, but it was them that helped me’: exploring the issues for care experienced young people within higher education

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article number104576
Number of pages9
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Early online date21 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020
This article reports the findings of a small study investigating the experiences of care experienced young people in relation to higher education in England. The findings are based on a literature review, interviews with young people studying at one University as well as interviews with University support staff. It also includes data from two focus groups with young people in care. The research shows that their success depends on a complexity of factors. In terms of support, young people did not benefit from unspecified and generalised help, but ongoing support that was relational, characterised by genuine concern, human warmth and knowledge of the young person. In addition, the research emphasises that supportive adults need to be non-judgemental, available and responsive in providing practical help as well as emotional support. These supportive adults, together with the provision of financial support, combined with the student’s own agency, resilience, internal drive and determination, provide a powerful set of factors that underpin success within higher education for care experienced students. Additionally this research provides further testament to the importance of enduring and trusting relationships for children in care.

    Research areas

  • care leavers, education

Related faculties, schools or groups

External organisations

  • University of Leeds

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