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|Title:||Experiences and Trajectories of Former Youth in Care|
|Keywords:||youth in care;trajectories;child welfare;foster care;symbolic interactionism|
|Abstract:||This dissertation draws on semi-structured interviews with 20 former youth in care to examine their experiences in Ontario’s child welfare system and the long-term impacts of those experiences. Using a symbolic interactionist approach, the study analyzes the biographical disruption that experiences in the care system represented for participants and how this affected their life trajectories. The findings are organized and discussed around three themes: a) participants’ involvement with the system – how they experienced entering, being in, and exiting the system; b) the stigma participants experienced while in care, and their efforts to neutralize or manage the stigma; and c) the impact that their care experiences had on participants as adults. The data reveal a range of challenges that participants encountered while they were in care, including loneliness, isolation, neglect, general mistreatment and in some cases, abuse. Particularly damaging were the stigma and assaults on “self” that participants experienced as a result of their care status. The data also reveal that in one way or another, these early experiences followed participants into their adult lives, leaving them with a myriad of issues and concerns. The dissertation ends with a discussion of the substantive and theoretical contributions of the findings, as well as a section that addresses the policy implications of the research.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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|CAREY DISSERTATION (Recovered) (Recovered) (Recovered) (Recovered).pdf||2.21 MB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
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