Preserving relationships and maintaining social capital: the experiences of young people living in foster care in the United Kingdom

Justin Rogers

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

This paper presents findings from a doctoral project that explored the experiences of young people growing up in foster care in the United Kingdom. Children and young people primarily enter public care due to concerns of abuse and neglect. Young people growing up in foster care are a disadvantaged group who often experience stigma and social exclusion. The initial entry into public care results in disruption to a young person’s social network, as they are moved from their families and placed with carers. This network disruption is often compounded with school moves and placement disruptions. Despite this experience of disruption, the young people in this study worked hard to preserve their relationships, and in so doing they were able to maintain their access to social capital. The young people achieved this in two key ways, by using Web 2.0 technologies such as Facebook; and by memorialising lost relationships through displays of their personal possessions. Existing policy and practice often focuses on maintaining and promoting relationships between fostered youth and their close family members. Findings in this study highlight the need for practitioners to consider how relationships can be maintained and promoted across the young people’s wider social networks, as they can serve as an important source of social capital.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2016
EventYouth Divide and Youth Inclusion: Agendas and Alternatives - Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Duration: 15 Jun 201625 Jun 2016
https://www.2016youthcf.org/

Conference

ConferenceYouth Divide and Youth Inclusion
CountryHong Kong
CityHong Kong
Period15/06/1625/06/16
Internet address

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    Rogers, J. (2016). Preserving relationships and maintaining social capital: the experiences of young people living in foster care in the United Kingdom. Paper presented at Youth Divide and Youth Inclusion, Hong Kong, Hong Kong.