Care Experienced Adults in Education: Barriers and Facilitators

Victoria Burns, Tony Cassidy

This U.K.-based study explored the life experiences of care experienced adults in higher education to understand the factors that impeded or enhanced their journeys. Care experienced refers to someone who has been in the care of the state at some point in their life.

Six students with a history in the care system took part in semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis identified global themes of self-reliance, resilience, intrinsic motivation and optimism which derived from underlying experiences of support, attachment, trust, expectations and placement experiences.

Findings suggest that more could be done to enable looked after children to proceed into higher education.