To establish the views of residential care workers and what they perceive to be the key factors that hold back some of the young people in their care in the achievement of their educational goals? A qualitative study
AuthorsBurdett, Lyndsey A.
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AbstractThe aims of this dissertation was to investigate the views and experiences of residential care workers and establish what factors they believe help and hinder educational achievement of young people in their care. National and local policy on children in care is based mainly on children in care quantitative research. It is important that qualitative research is undertaken on the subject and the views of residential care workers are sought so that people who support young people with their education can be educated about what helps and hinders educational achievement of young people in care. The disparity between the achievements of looked after children and their peers remains unacceptably wide. There is evidence in some children’s homes that insufficient priority is given to education, for example some young people are not attending school regularly. (Ofsted 2008-2009) For these reasons and more it is significant that more focus should be on those who provide the day to day care for looked after children, this is why it is vital to gain an insight into the perspectives of residential care workers to establish what factors influence the educational outcomes of children in care. Six residential care workers were interviewed using semi structured interviews. Participants were asked for their views on what hinders and helps educational achievement and what they believe can support children in residential care. These data were transcribed and subjected to thematic analysis. Participants shared their experiences and identified areas where young people struggle the most, also reflecting on the positive aspects in terms of support. There was a mixture of experiences and both positive and negative attitudes. The study demonstrates that some children in residential care do not always achieve their educational goals. This is because of a number of factors that impact on their lives; these include early childhood loss or trauma. However in ascertaining the views of the care workers this has offered an insight into how young people can be supported so they are enabled to reach their full potential. The study also contributes to the knowledge of what works well in helping young people in care to reach their educational goals. It is an ongoing process of engaging the young people with positive activities and to promote educational learning. It appears that the care staff interviewed was able to reflect on their experiences and on this process. Hopefully the findings can contribute to research already undertaken on this subject and help inform other professionals on how they can contribute to supporting young people in care in their educational journey and good practice for this group.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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