MA Social Research (University of York), MSc Social Policy and Social Research (University College London), BA International Affairs (The George Washington University USA)
The Barriers to Higher Education Faced by Care Leavers: A Focus on the Mental Health Provision Available to Care Leavers in the Transition to Higher Education
Care leavers (young people who have transitioned out of the care system), are disproportionately under-represented in higher education, as compared both to the wider population and other vulnerable groups. My research aims to address this disparity by analysing the mental health support available to young people in care as they make the transition to higher education. Current research indicates the significance of the transitional period between GCSEs and university to care leavers educational attainment, and has already established the importance of sound mental health to educational attainment.
As a qualitative researcher, I aim to consolidate evidence on the mental health support, and its quality, available to young people in care as they prepare to take the next step on their educational pathway. I consequently plan to conduct interviews with care leavers and professionals working within children’s social care to gain a better understanding of the mental health support available to this group of young people, and to understand the informal sources of support care leavers turn to when structured support is unavailable. My research is conducted on the premise that responsive, high-quality mental health support will allow a greater number of care leavers to make a successful transition to higher education.
My research interests concern the life outcomes of care-experienced people (CEP, or care leavers) in England and the barriers they experience to higher education. In particular, I focus on CEP’s experiences of aspiration, hope, and self-esteem, and the effect these have on young people’s educational and professional outcomes. I am also interested in care leavers’ experiences of stability.
I have been privileged to be a research assistant to Jo Dixon on a project aiming to understand 'the need' in terms of care leavers' engagement with further education and professional pathways in York and North Yorkshire.
I teach on 'Exploring Social Policy and Social Justice' in the school.
Inceu, A. 2015. Local Perspectives on the Evolution and Challenges Facing the Child Protection System of Cluj County, Romania. The Fourth Euroacademia Forum of Critical Studies: Asking Big Questions Again, 2015, Lucca, Italy.
I have been privileged to work with Jo Dixon in the school, seeking to understand the educational journeys of care-experienced young people in York and North Yorkshire.