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University takes new look at troubled childhood

Posted on 17 September 2002

What enables some youngsters to survive a troubled and disadvantaged childhood and go on to live reasonable lives as adults, while others do not?

A whole range of studies on different aspects of young people in care shows the complexity of support they need to lead successful adult lives.

Professor Mike Stein of the University of York is looking at research from the last 20 years to see what has helped 16 to 19-year-olds in care who had to learn to make a life on their own.

Professor Stein, of the University's Social Policy and Social Work Unit, is looking at what studies reveal about the resilience shown by young people, what difference this makes to their later lives, and how important it is for youngsters leaving care. This will allow him to explore what factors have boosted this resilience.

He said: "What emerges from this large body of research is the importance of placement stability, continuity of carers, birth and extended family links, gradually addressing practical, social and emotional dimensions, assistance with education, and ongoing personal and professional support after young people leave care.

"In re-visiting completed studies, particular attention will be given to these areas, and we'll be asking for the views and reflections of young people."

Notes to editors:

  • Professor Stein's work on resilience is funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation over six months.

Contact details

David Garner
Senior Press Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1904 322153