1 September 2021 – 31 December 2023
Hyvää jälkeä (Good Traces) is a research project lead by Tampere University with Savonia University of Applied Sciences and SOS Children’s Villages as consortium partners. The project investigates transitions from care to independence and adulthood as experienced by care leavers and the professionals working with them.
The basis of the project lies in the recognition of the child protection based care background as a critical predictor for not doing as well in later life as young people/adults who have not been in care, hence the care background poses the children and young people into a significant vulnerability. So far, we have as a society not managed to deal with the issue satisfactorily, and the vulnerabilities continue to exist. Neither do we know enough about the experiences of young people leaving care or the professionals working with them.
In the project we look at the complex processes and experiences of what happens when a young person ages out of foster care or institutional care. Centrally, leaving care is understood as a broad transition including a) preparing, b) leaving/staying, and c) being in ‘after care’. The focus of the project is particularly on the positive experiences, with the aim of learning ‘what works’ and what constitutes a positive ‘leaving care experience’. Specifically, we look at the care leavers’ and professionals’ mutual and reciprocal experiences of recognition as resilience building experiences.
The aim of the project is
- by using nationwide questionnaires created together with the participants to build an overall understanding about the leaving care process from the viewpoint of the young care leavers, the professionals and the social service system
2. by employing ethnographic and other qualitative methodology to create a thick understanding about the transition from care as experienced by young people and professionals
3. by using the results of the questionnaire and ethnography based knowledge, together with the participating youths and professionals, to plan a reciprocal youth centred working ‘platform’ to help developing the shared multiprofessional work with young care leavers
Overall, through increased knowledge and understanding, the project aims to develop the leaving care services towards a more equal society where the success in life is not determined by a young person’s care background.