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Transitioning out of Residential Care in Jordan: Impact of Practice on Outcomes Voices of the Unheard Rawan W. Ibrahim School of Social Work & Psychology.

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Presentation on theme: "Transitioning out of Residential Care in Jordan: Impact of Practice on Outcomes Voices of the Unheard Rawan W. Ibrahim School of Social Work & Psychology."— Presentation transcript:

1 Transitioning out of Residential Care in Jordan: Impact of Practice on Outcomes Voices of the Unheard Rawan W. Ibrahim School of Social Work & Psychology University of East Anglia, Norwich UK Supervisors: Dr. Jonathan Dickens, Professor David Howe 8 th October 2008 Amman, Jordan

2 2 What We Know about children in Substitute Care (Western Res. & Lit) Psychosocial difficulties throughout life stages: Pre Care (Disadvantaged population): Abandonment, abuse, broken homes, poverty, etc. Separated from families with the belief that substitute care is the better if not the only option. During Care: Constant shifts in placements, schools and staff. Abuse, stigma, institutionalisation. Poor social integration, behavioural and psychological problems, lack of preparation.

3 3 General Outcomes for Unsupported Care Leavers (Western Res. & Lit) Transitioning out of care …compressed and accelerated while having to shoulder adult responsibilities at a much earlier age than most other young people (Stein 2004, Beihal 1995:30-31) oPoor academic achievements oHomelessness oSubstance misuse oPoor mental and physical health oJuvenile prostitution oInvolvement in the criminal justice system oEarly parenthood (higher risks of trans-generational factors) oOutcomes for children in residential care tended to be poorer

4 4 What we know about Residential Care in Jordan Previous Research One evaluative study with disturbing results: 86% do not provide psychological or therapeutic services, no individual care plans, incidents of abuse from within and outside homes, lack of academic and vocational support, lack of adequate preparation to leave care. No leaving care research

5 5 Current Research: Aim & Research Questions Investigating what Jordanian care leavers face & preparedness? Identify whats working in a Jordanian Context Socio economic conditions Limited formal support & absent leaving care policies Strong cultural norms Equally important: Giving Jordanian care leavers a voice

6 6 Methodology In-depth semi structured interviews Small questionnaire to collect background data 42 Interviews (21, 21 ) & 2 focus groups Snow-balling sampling (as purposive as possible)

7 7 Participant Profile Pathways in: Known families: 57%, Unknown/Hidden 43% Age at Admission: 71% 5, 17% 6-10, 12% Age at leaving: 71% 17-18, 12% 14-16, 17% Range of time in care: Average 14 years (3-21) No. of moves In Care: 5 Limited Age Homes, 3 Extended age homes (range 1-11 homes) No. of school transfers In Care: 4 (up to 10 changes)

8 8 Participant Profile Qualifications at Discharge: No Qualifications 58% (25) Dropped Out of School In Care or due to Abrupt Discharge: 31% (13) Formal Quals: 24% (10) Interview: Average time out of care approx. 4 years (1 month - 10 years)

9 9 Findings: Care Experience Impacting Transitions Positive: Grateful for shelter, camaraderie, meaningful attachments (surrogate families, future support networks - emergencies), feeling self-made more mature than peers without care history, preparation very useful even if limited. Negative: Institutionalisation elements impacting everyday life (inside society vs. outside society, feeling like foreigners - cultural deprivation, social skills and social anxiety, practical skills, vulnerability risks) Poor academic achievement. Feeling abandoned again and unprepared for a different adult world.

10 10 Where do they initially leave to? Gender & Discharge Locations Known Families: 57% 92 % Females returned to families (11/12) 8 % Males returned to families (1/12), abandoned (7/12) Unknown/ Hidden Families: 43% Females: Marriage(3/9), student halls (5/9) Males: Single & shared flats (7/9), abandoned (2/9)

11 11 Support Network & Relationships Marriage? Families? $ Pre Care & In Care Experience Employment Against current economic circumstances …. …. Culture & Stigma Ad hoc preparation, no follow up, absent post care legislation and limited post care formal support What do they cope with?

12 12 What do they face? Summary of some findings Average number of moves: 5 (1-26) Homelessness/Concealed Homelessness: 45% (19 – 8 females & 11 males) In conflict with the law: 24% (2 females, 8 males) Two females were in university, 1 female completed a two year degree. Informal/ semi formal support positively impacting transitions & outcomes: Accommodation, financial support, employment and taken into the family (surrogate & unrelated)

13 13 Looking at Practice Through Case Examples Khaldoun ( Out of care for 2 years) Death of mother, father convicted of drug dealing A total of 5 siblings in care Care Experiences Age 12-15, generally bad and sometimes good depending on who was there. Ok academic achievement No family intervention Discharge: Abrupt & forced due to over stocked care home. His situation has improved Promised by Judge to be supported in completing school.

14 14 Khaldoun: Post Care Experience Dropped out of school to survive Child labour ( illegal, in conflict with the law) Family book confiscated, no ID, no formal market employment Sister abruptly discharged (attempted suicide, in school) Household no regular income. Father using drugs & alcohol Younger siblings in care, more children from step mother No intervention, no follow up, no support, no one to turn to Discharged to the same reasons he was admitted to care for

15 15 Substitute Care or Substitute Shelter? Returning to the same problems, no intervention, no planning, poor care, no preparation, no qualifications, no support and no follow up. What is the role of care homes in Jordan? What are the duties & roles of those meant to be caring for & protecting children & young people? (carers, behaviour observers, judges) Where is the role of social work?

16 16 Recommendations Prioritising the Plight of Children in Substitute Care and the Plight of Care Leavers on the Political Agenda Care Homes: Minimum Standards: Individual care plans (developmental dimensions, family assessments & intervention, long term preparation. Family based (normalisation, consistency, minimise transfers of homes and schools). Quality staff & Carers, Minimum standard of qualifications for staff & carers.

17 17 Recommendations Discharge Extended Pathway plan with young people (personal advisor) Discharge to families & marriage with much caution Policies A research-based policy supporting care leavers must be established and include specified follow-up criteria for an extended time frame (e.g. to age 25). Role of social work The role of social work must be specified and be present from admission, to in care experience and post care. Giving Care Leavers and Children in Care a Voice

18 18 Thank you Rawan W. Ibrahim School of Social Work & Psychology University of East Anglia, UK.

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