At a time of heightened international debate about youth precarity, how do we understand and support transitions to adulthood for people who have been in care? This paper reports on a qualitative longitudinal study of 75 young adults (aged 16–32 years) from Norway, Denmark, and England. All had been in care during childhood and at the time of their recruitment to the study all were in education, employment or training. Against the context of a literature largely focused on transitions specific to ‘leaving care’, our analysis addresses aspects of early adulthood which are not specific to being care experienced; some (such as romantic break-ups, or moving home) might be considered normative, whilst others (such as changing course or dropping out of university) are less common. Cross-national analysis shows how care and wider welfare systems intersect with informal networks in everyday lives, functioning to scaffold young people, or to exacerbate precarity, as they navigate biographical transitions in early adulthood. The research shows the importance of developing socially and culturally located biographical accounts of ‘transition’ that recognise the complexities, uncertainties and essential interdependence of everyday lives and emerging adulthoods.
- Janet BoddyElisiv BakketeigJeanette Østergaard
About this publication
Published inJournal of Youth Studies