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The Role of Agency in Finding Pathways From Care to Work of Former Care Leavers: A Cross-National Study#11;

Conference contribution
Authors Helena Johansson
Ingrid Höjer
Yvonne Sjöblom
Published in 15 th EUSARF Conference, Porto, 2-5 October
Publisher EUSARF conference in Porto 2018
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Social Work
Language en
Subject categories Youth research, Sociology

Abstract

The overall aim of this study is to explore the concept of agency in relation to work in understanding the experience of young people who previously have been in care and their inclusion into the work life. The research-project “Pathways from care to work” is part of an international research project including five countries; Ireland, Spain Belgium, Sweden and Czechoslovakia. It seeks to explore the work related experiences for young people who previously have been in care and who now are in their mid-twenties. The starting point of the study is that work and employment is a key element for care leavers regarding their social integration as adults in society. The project is based on national case studies with comparative reviews. Interviews have been performed with former care leavers that have left placements in care at least five years ago. Cases have been collected from the five countries participating in the study. During the interviews, themes like work trajectories since first job and what has affected these work trajectories since leaving care, are explored from the young adult’s perspective. The sample is based on the young people’s successful experiences and good outcomes in relation to work. The objective that will be studied in relation to this proposed abstract is the pathways to work for former care leavers and how these interconnect with the notion of agency. How do work experiences of former care leavers contribute to their agency and how does agency contribute to work for former care leavers? What promotes and inhibits agency for former care leavers in the world of work? Focusing on former care leavers that are now currently working can help us to better understand what has helped these young people to find and stay in jobs and integrate themselves in the work life. The result will reveal different trajectories to work and how they are connected to the possibility of gaining and using agency related to the work experiences for this group of former care leavers. It will also give us knowledge on the processes that promotes and inhibits agency. These results will give important messages to policy and practice in current work with care leavers. It is important for practice and policy to learn from the young people’s own narratives of their trajectories and of their experiences of entering and staying in the work life.

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