A Cross-case analysis of Ethiopian Care Leavers
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CitationBerhanu, Dinsry. 2021. A Cross-case analysis of Ethiopian Care Leavers. Master's thesis, Harvard University Division of Continuing Education.
AbstractInternational research studies report that young adults transitioning from out-of-home care to independent members of their communities face significant emotional, social, health, employment, and educational challenges that result in negative outcomes. The present study sought to investigate six Ethiopian care leavers’ lived experiences to gain an in-depth understanding of the contributing factors for positive life outcomes.
Findings are mainly derived from interviews and a questionnaire completed by participating care leavers, focusing on potential risk and protective factors across different developmental stages and domains. Participating care leavers also completed the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale and the Brief Cope questionnaire to assess the personal resource contribution towards positive life outcomes.
The study highlights the complexity of the factors at play when determining the life outcomes of care leavers and identified several factors associated with higher likelihood of negative outcomes. Childhood poverty, parental bereavement, and separation from family when entering care were the identified pre-care risk factors. Emotionally unavailable care staff and in-care maltreatment were the main in-care risk factors while an abrupt end of care support that led to financial, accommodation, and employment challenges were risk factors during the transition and post-care period.
The potential protective factors for positive life outcomes identified in the study are: stable and positive relationships with family and care peers, successful social integration, stable care placement, mental health, educational achievement, and gainful employment. Factors from the personal domain, namely, personality-traits associated with resilience, positive coping strategy, and spirituality were also identified as potential protective factors that might have reduced the impact of risk factors the participating care leavers experienced throughout the different developmental stages.
Recommendations for practice and policy include an extension of services for young adults leaving care, maintaining family linkages when possible, and assisting care leavers to establish formal and informal networks.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37367627
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