Constructing a global understanding of the social ecology of leaving out of home care
Engagement with globalisation is growing in the field of youth transitions from out of home care. This includes cross national exchange of research, policy and practise, regional advocacy networking and global policy development. Furthering this emerging international child welfare perspective requires extending it to countries in the developing world and building conceptual frameworks which encompass a social ecology of care leaving, including its global dimension, the latter needs to address not only the needs, expectations and rights of care leavers but also the theories of change underpinning service design and delivery. Such a model is presented combining resilience and social capital as personal assets situated within a social ecology of support. To illustrate how this provides a means to help engage with the experience of countries where there appears to be very little information available on care leaving, a small scale South African initiative is considered. SA-YES is a youth mentoring project for young people leaving a variety of out of home placements. Planned as a three-year pilot, initial results are encouraging but require more rigorous evaluation focusing on program process and outcomes, quality of interpersonal relationships and synchronisation with cultural expectations and policy environment.
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- Montgomery, Paul & Donkoh, Charles & Underhill, Kristen, 2006. "Independent living programs for young people leaving the care system: The state of the evidence," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 1435-1448, December.
- Stein, Mike, 2006. "Young people aging out of care: The poverty of theory," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 422-434, April.
- Collins, Mary Elizabeth & Pinkerton, John, 2008. "The policy context of leaving care services: A case study of Northern Ireland," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 1279-1288, November.
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