Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences

Ole Steen Kristensen

Attuning to the past while aging out of care

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

The transition from care to independent life is difficult for former foster care youth. The experience of aging out of care may be troublesome and accentuate problems already experienced. The youth face a lot of setbacks and rejections during the transition, resulting in a high risk of unemployment and a low educational level. This is referred to as disappointing and/or an attainment gap. There is, however, still a lack of knowledge as to what creates these disappointing results and how the youth may overcome influences of their foster care history and their experiences while in care. Thesaurus, free-text terms and broad text terms formed the basis for a broad search. Systematic searches of PsycInfo and Social Science Citation Index were undertaken, and relevant studies were identified. Strict criteria were used and the studies were evaluated by using the “Framework for assessing qualitative evaluations”. The selected studies were coded in NVivo and the following themes were identified and described: First, the obstacles were identified: placement instability, negative experiences in care and school, stigma and lack of vocational guidance. Second, the transition may evoke ambivalent feelings and accentuate the experience of the past and of social ties. Third, the struggle for an independent life, dreams and aspirations are mixed with negative feelings and beliefs that may occupy their minds and turn the balance between thinking about the future and living in the moment towards the latter. Ambivalence and disruptions are more common than persistence and goal setting. The results could be useful in improving the transitional services in an attempt to help former foster care youth to deal with their troublesome foster care history.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECQI 2018 PROCEEDINGS - Leuven, 6-8 Februari 2018
EditorsKarin Hannes, Bernadette Diercks de Casterlé, Ann Heylighen, Frederik Truyen
Number of pages11
Place of publicationLeuven
PublisherKU Leuven NQRL
Publication year2018
ISBN (Electronic)9789067842082
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventEuropean Congress of Qualitative Inquiry - KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
Duration: 6 Feb 20189 Feb 2018
Conference number: 2


ConferenceEuropean Congress of Qualitative Inquiry
LocationKU Leuven

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