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“I wish someone would explain why I am in care”: the impact of children and young people’s lack of understanding of why they are in out-of-home care on their well-being and felt security.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalChild and Family Social Work
Early online date9 Jan 2020
DateAccepted/In press - 24 Nov 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 9 Jan 2020


Having a good understanding of one’s origins and history is known to be significant in identity development. Drawing on a large-scale online survey of looked after children’s subjective well-being, this paper demonstrates that a significant number of children and young people (age 4-18 years) did not fully understand the reasons for their entry to care. The paper explores the effect of this lack of knowledge on children’s well-being and on their feelings of being settled in their current placement. The study reiterates the need for professionals to be honest and open with children in out-of-home care and the need to specifically address, perhaps repeatedly, why a child is not living with their birth family.

    Research areas

  • Out of home care, stability, Identity, Life story, Subjective well-being, gender differences



  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Wiley at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 373 KB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 9/01/22

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