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Young people, public care and education: some practical lessons from research Claire Cameron CYC-Net 21 March 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Young people, public care and education: some practical lessons from research Claire Cameron CYC-Net 21 March 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Young people, public care and education: some practical lessons from research Claire Cameron CYC-Net 21 March 2012

2 Research aims  To track the educational pathways of young men and women in public care after the end of compulsory schooling  To examine how more of them might be encouraged and supported to continue into further and higher education  To compare different systems and experiences in five European countries

3 Project partners England: Institute of Education, University of London (Coordinator) Sweden: Göteborg University (Social Work & Education) Denmark: Danish School of Education, University of Aarhus Spain: Research Institute on Quality of Life, University of Girona Hungary: Institute for Social Policy and Labour, Budapest

4 Research Methods  Literature reviews and analysis of statistics  Surveys: national and local area studies  Interviews with social services, care managers and educators (76)  Screening telephone interviews (366)  Intensive face to face interviews with 170 young men and women aged and 108 nominated adults

5 Completion of compulsory schooling (2006)

6 Completion of post-compulsory education (2006) Post compulsoryHigher In care Not in careIn careNot in care Denmark 2.5%37.6%0%0.3% Sweden 80% (38% completed) 94% (85% completed) 6%26% England 23%24.1%6%23.5%

7 What explanations? What role does the welfare regime play? –What sustains participation at compulsory school age? –What enables drastic falling off in participation at post-compulsory phase? Two models –‘Same as everybody else’ –Residual - targeted interventions

8 Key comparative findings Outside England, participation in and completed education Frequently delayed in completion Outside England, care placements much more stable Family backgrounds are almost identical The age of leaving care (16-19) is much lower than the average age of leaving home (24/25) Informal learning, social life, voluntary work, more common in England than elsewhere

9 Solutions that seem to work Continuing and unconditional personal support beyond compulsory education age Well educated workers – pedagogues – in residential settings in Spain, Denmark, Hungary Second foster placements Leaving care teams, especially with teacher attached Easy financial access to higher education for all – Sweden Supporting development of strong learning identity Promoting citizenship – volunteering, social networks

10 Practical initiatives in the residual model Leaving care teams –Multi-disciplinary –Holistic - practical and emotional support –Help not perceived as control –Targets focus minds Virtual school heads –Resources and mentoring –Data collection

11 Embedded teacher model From 1 – 18 young people at university Direct help and advice on educational matters Negotiates educationally valuable work placements Low expectations and limited horizons from childhood ‘I’ve never met a child that didn’t want to learn. How do we turn a six year old who wants to know about everything into a 16 year old who can’t be bothered with anything?’

12 Conclusions Widespread neglect of educational fortunes for young people from public care Young people in Social Democratic states were better supported than elsewhere Targeted interventions can be successful – but are they sustainable? Requires ‘educational mindedness’ of policy, concepts and expectations held by professionals – social pedagogy?

13 References Yippee website: Cameron, C., Jackson,S., Hollingworth, K., Hauari, H., (2012) Continuing educational participation among children in care in five countries: some issues of social class, Journal of Education Policy Cameron, C. (forthcoming) “Our young people are worse”: Family backgrounds and placement options in public care systems, European Journal of Social Work Jackson, S. and Cameron, C. (forthcoming) Looking Ahead and Aiming Higher Children and Youth Services Review


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