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Guidance, policy and practice and the health needs of young people leaving care

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During the past ten years, there has been growing interest in the health needs of young people leaving care in England and Wales. Most such young people leave care between the ages of 16 and 18 and many experience significant problems adjusting to independent living. This article fulfils two objectives. First, it examines the legislative and policy context within which practice towards such young people is now conducted. Second, it deepens our understanding of this policy context by reporting the results of a project on this subject that was undertaken in one local authority district in the north of England in 2005. The project surveyed all young care leavers within the district, analysing their health concerns and experiences. Using postal questionnaires (70 responses), face-to-face interviews (30) and focus groups (two), it sought to provide a clear picture of current needs and to inform future policy action by local health and social care professionals.
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Keywords: health; leaving care; looked after children; social exclusion; young people

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Bradford, Bradford, UK 2: Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of York, York, UK

Publication date: 2008-03-01

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