Young People and the Care Experience: Research, Policy and Practice, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Young People and the Care Experience

Research, Policy and Practice, 1st Edition

By Julie Shaw, Nick Frost


176 pages

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pub: 2013-04-11
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The care system looks after the most vulnerable young people in society – those who are, for a variety of reasons, unable to live with their parents. Young People and the Care Experience examines what can be done to support young people to remain at home, and if this is not possible, how they can be supported whilst in care and on leaving care. The book explores the range of options – foster care, children’s homes and adoption – and how these options interact. Using the latest research and framing the issues through both psycho-social and legal perspectives, the book provides an in-depth analysis of young people’s experience of the care system, and how it can be improved.

Examining the challenges faced by children on their journey from initially entering care to living independently after care, the book places these issues in a global context. Specifically, it discusses

  • how to support children and young people at home
  • an analysis of the history and demographics of children placed in care
  • the challenges faced by children living in foster care
  • the challenges faced by children living in a children’s home.
  • the challenges faced by children being adopted leaving care

The book will be of interest to all those working with children in care, or those who have experience of the care system as a professional, carer or young person. It will also be of interest to researchers and students of developmental and social psychology, social work, and also to policy makers.


"This is a very valuable book. Shaw and Frost are to be congratulated on completing such a comprehensive and ambitious project. It provides a very good overview of services for children in care and current debates. The authors are well informed, make good use of research evidence and provide a wide-ranging and balanced commentary and critique on key issues. It will serve as an excellent introduction to the sector, particularly for social work students and others seeking to develop careers in working with disadvantaged children" - David Berridge, Head of the Centre for Family Policy and Child Welfare, University of Bristol, UK

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Supporting children and young people at home. 2. Who is in care and where do they live? 3. Living in Foster Care 4. Living in a children’s home. 5. Being adopted.6. Leaving care.7. Being in care – a global experience. 8. Promoting positive outcomes for children and young people in care.9. What future for looked after children and young people?

About the Authors

Julie Shaw is a lecturer in Social Work at the University of Lincoln. She recently completed her PhD in Criminology and Social Policy at Leeds Metropolitan University, undertaking research into why looked after children in residential children’s homes come to the attention of the youth justice system. Julie has previously worked as Court Liaison Officer for a Youth Offending Team and as a probation officer for a community sentences team.

Nick Frost is Professor of Social Work (Children, childhood and families), at the Faculty of Health, Leeds Metropolitan University. He has researched in the fields of child welfare, family support, children in care and integrated working. Nick worked in local authority social work for 15 years before commencing his academic career.

About the Series

Adolescence and Society

In the 20 years since it began, this series has published some of the key texts in the field of adolescent studies. The series has covered a very wide range of subjects, almost all of them being of central concern to students, researchers and practitioners. A mark of its success is that a number of books have gone to second and third editions, illustrating its popularity and reputation.

The primary aim of the series is to make accessible to the widest possible readership important and topical evidence relating to adolescent development. Much of this material is published in relatively inaccessible professional journals, and the objective of the books has been to summarise, review and place in context current work in the field, so as to interest and engage both an undergraduate and a professional audience.

The intention of the authors is to raise the profile of adolescent studies among professionals and in institutions of higher education. By publishing relatively short, readable books on topics of current interest to do with youth and society, the series makes people more aware of the relevance of the subject of adolescence to a wide range of social concerns.

The books do not put forward any one theoretical viewpoint. The authors outline the most prominent theories in the field and include a balanced and critical assessment of each of these. Whilst some of the books may have a clinical or applied slant, the majority concentrate on normal development.

The readership rests primarily in two major areas: the undergraduate market, particularly in the fields of psychology, sociology and education; and the professional training market, with particular emphasis on social work, clinical and educational psychology, counselling, youth work, nursing and teacher training.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / Adolescent