In between formal and informal: Staff and youth relationships in care and after leaving care

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This paper deals with the contact and relationship youth have with staff while in care and after emancipation and examines the young adults' needs in contacting staff after leaving care. The study was conducted through 60 interviews with young adults ages 21–26 who emancipated from residential settings in Israel. Results showed that most youth report having had a meaningful staff member in care and that 62% were in contact with staff after their transition to independent living for both emotional and practical needs that could not always be answered by staff. One of the study's conclusions is that despite their departure staff's relationship with these young adults continues informally years after. However, without formal recognition of the place staff have in the lives of aged-out youth, no resources are invested in training them to properly meet the young adults' needs. The discussion highlights the need for an integrative approach that sees residential settings and staff as a meaningful part in the continuity from care to independent living by supporting aged-out youth's gradual transition to adult life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-49
Number of pages7
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - 2016


  • Care leavers
  • Emerging adulthood
  • Foster care
  • Mentoring
  • Residential care
  • Social support
  • Staff
  • Youth

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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