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The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Business Administration

No 2009:3:
At Risk of Social Exclusion: A Study of Care Leavers in UK

Mayeda Jamal

Abstract: This paper examines the experiences of socially marginalized/ excluded individuals in society when they re-enter the society after a period of being “looked after”1 by the State (by placement in either foster care or residential care homes, referred to as “Care Leavers” in UK). This group was selected for the study because “socialization” of care leavers is a major problem for the UK Government. The aim is to explore their psychological states, and in turn, examine possible link between their psychological states and socialization process after leaving care. Successful socialization is defined here as resulting in a capacity to make personally and socially beneficial decisions and judgments. The findings suggest that being in care may have a negative impact on identity development, with care leavers exhibiting low self esteem, stigmatization, low trust and low self-confidence. Negative psychological states impede socialization and enhance the risks of care-leavers becoming socially excluded.

Keywords: Social Exclusion; Socialization; Care Leavers; Identity; Stigma; (follow links to similar papers)

36 pages, January 28, 2009

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