Stories of Leaving Care in India: Struggling, Moving On and Surviving

Udayan Care

The case studies outlined in this publication draw upon earlier work, which suggested that young people leaving care may broadly fall into one of three groups: those successfully ‘moving on’ from care; those who are ‘survivors’; and those who are ‘strugglers’. These groups are clearly detailed in the text, including the ‘protective’ and ‘risk’ factors associated with each group – or put in terms of relevance to policy and practice, the factors which may promote (‘protective’) or pose barriers (‘risks’) to the resilience of young people from care to adulthood.

The three groups were identified through reflection on the findings of leaving care research studies carried out between 1980 and 2012 through in-depth interviews. The studies, were mainly qualitative in design which included follow-up of young Care Leavers or CLs by interview between one to three years after leaving care through interviews. The studies also included interviews with Care Leavers or CLs social workers and specialist leaving care workers from both statutory and third sector organisations.

There was also evidence that these three groups were not set groups – some Care Leavers or CLs moved between them over time, and as their circumstances or the support they received changed.