Preserving and memorialising relationships: exploring young people’s experiences of foster care through the lens of social capital

Justin Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
68 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This article presents findings from research into how young people growing up in foster care in the UK manage the relationships in their social networks and gain access to social capital. It is a concept that highlights the value of relationships and is relevant to young people in care as they have usually experienced disruptions to their social and family life. Qualitative methods were used and the findings show that despite experiencing disruption to their social networks, the young people demonstrated that they were able to maintain access to their social capital. They achieved this in two ways. Firstly, they preserved their relationships, often through what can be seen as ordinary practices but in the extraordinary context of being in foster care. Secondly, they engaged in creative practices of memorialisation to preserve relationships that had ended or had been significantly impaired due to their experience of separation and movement. The article highlights implications for policy and practice, including the need to recognise the value of young people’s personal possessions. Furthermore, it stresses the need to support them to maintain their relationships across their networks as this facilitates their access to social capital.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-188
Number of pages13
JournalAdoption & Fostering
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018

Keywords

  • Foster care
  • memorialisation
  • preserving relationships
  • social capital
  • young people

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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