AbstractIn 2006 the Government of Ghana embarked on an initiative to reform residential care in Ghana, including the leaving and after-care processes. Although this was a laudable effort, it was based on concepts and research findings from the ‘developed’ world. There was no conscious reflection of the social, economic and political conditions pertaining to Ghana. It was not underpinned by research findings of what works for young people leaving care in Ghana as no previous research has investigated this subject.
This study examines the leaving and aftercare process and how it affects young people’s post-care coping abilities. The research is primarily a qualitative case study of a private children’s home and uses resilience and social capital as sensitising concepts. Framework analysis is used to analyse and gain insights into the experiences and views of twenty nine care leavers as well as the perceptions of their carers and support staff. The findings are reflected in a model that indicates that Placement Stability and Continuity of Care, Positive Relationships, Religion and Material Security are the factors within the leaving and aftercare process that determines how well young people cope with independent living.
The study makes practice and policy recommendations that include the use of mentoring and transition assessment tools, incorporating community groups into the transition process and the use of social networks such as Facebook to provide information and support to care leavers. It is suggested that the leaving care age should be extended to 21 years and the establishment of statutory two-year after-care support.
|Date of Award||Jul 2013|
|Supervisor||John Pinkerton (Supervisor)|