Leaving Local Authority Care: The Experiences of Separated Young People Seeking Asylum in the UK

Prof Doc Thesis


Williams, P. 2018. Leaving Local Authority Care: The Experiences of Separated Young People Seeking Asylum in the UK. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsWilliams, P.
TypeProf Doc Thesis
Abstract

Children and young people arriving in the UK seeking asylum, who are separated from their parents or lawful guardians (separated children and young people) are placed into the care of the receiving local authority. They will remain in this care until 18 years of age, at which point they make the transition to leaving care. There is much evidence to suggest that this is a difficult move. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that because of the multiple stressors faced by separated children and young people, this can be a particularly distressing time, impacting on their psychological well-being. However, there is little empirical evidence to support this. There is even less research which explores this transition from the experiences of the young people themselves.
This study took a contextualist epistemological position to explore the experiences and understanding of the transition to leaving care for six separated young people. Semi-structured interviews were completed and the resulting accounts analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Three super-ordinate themes were identified: ‘An Unwanted Move’, ‘Loss and Hardship’ and ‘Surviving’. Within these themes the young men reported experiences suggesting lack of preparation for the move, multiple losses and the impact of building pressure from the challenges of living independently. This was compounded by limited support and the uncertainty of their future, and had significant repercussions for their psychological well-being. Despite this, the young men demonstrated an ability to survive, drawing on the support of others around them and their own resources.
The findings of this study suggest more should be done to provide support for this potentially vulnerable group of young people. The findings are considered in the context of current literature and government policy, and recommendations made for greater inclusion of psychology within the social care setting to promote better understanding of and support for this transition.

Year2018
PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.15123/uel.874w4
File
License
File Access Level
Anyone
Publication dates
PrintMay 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited20 Nov 2019
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https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/874w4

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