Deconstructing doing well; what can we learn from care experienced young people in England, Denmark and Norway?

Bakketeig, Elisiv, Boddy, Janet, Gundersen, Tonje, Østergaard, Jeanette and Hanrahan, Fidelma (2020) Deconstructing doing well; what can we learn from care experienced young people in England, Denmark and Norway? Children and Youth Services Review, 118. a105333 1-12. ISSN 0190-7409

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Abstract

This paper addresses the conceptualization of ‘outcomes’ for care experienced people through an in-depth longitudinal study of 75 young adults in Denmark, England and Norway. ‘Outcome’ studies have played a crucial role in raising awareness of the risk of disadvantage that care experienced people face, across a variety of domains including education and employment. These studies may have an unintended consequence, however, if care experienced people are predominantly viewed, and studied, through a problem-focused lens. The danger is that policy and research neglects other – perhaps less readily measurable – aspects of experience, including subjective understandings – what matters to care experienced people themselves. Our analyses are based on an in-depth qualitative longitudinal study, which explored meanings of ‘doing well’ over time among care experienced people (aged 16–32), all of whom were ‘successful’ in relation to traditional indicators of participation in education and/or employment (including voluntary work). Across countries, their accounts revealed the importance of attending to subjective and dynamic understandings of ‘doing well’, and the significance of ordinary, mundane and ‘do-able’ lives. Participants’ narratives highlight aspects of doing well that raise challenging questions about how traditional outcome indicators – and corresponding policy priorities – might better capture what young people themselves see as important. A narrow interpretation of outcomes may lead to misrecognition of what it means to do well, and so to a stigmatizing ‘way of seeing’ care experienced lives. A broader conceptualization of outcomes is necessary to recognize – and so to develop policy and services to support – the complex, dynamic relationality of doing well.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2020 08:09
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2020 08:15
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/93701

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