Return to search

The keys to citizenship : a case study of Local Authority responses to the needs of children in care

This Case Study examines the educational problems facing young people in the care system in Scotland during a period of significant legislative change. The role of literacy as a determining factor and key to better quality of life for children in the care of Local Authorities has long been acknowledged. The aim of the study was to examine how young people experience the policies put in place to support them. Two major areas are identified and addressed; firstly, the absence of a theoretical and conceptual framework sufficiently robust to permit analysis of how the needs of children are identified and met by Social Work Services and Education. The resulting framework allows the systems of Social Work and Education and their interrelationship to be interrogated together. Secondly, the need to define quality and effectiveness within services for children is addressed. Criteria of effectiveness that reflect principles and intention of public policy in Social Work, Education and Legislation are drawn up and their critical points of effectiveness established. These reflect significant changes contained in the Children (Scotland) Act 1995. Key elements of both Education and Social Work systems are analysed and key inter-relationships mapped to create a General Model of Provision. Data was collected from young people leaving the care system, young people currently in school, parents, carers, Social Work and Education staff and Senior Managers in 93 interviews. The study, of mixed design, explores how young people experience support for their learning in school and in different care settings in three Local Authorities. The findings indicate that young people view literacy as an important key to a better future. They remain reasonably optimistic about the promise of Further Education. Of concern, however, is their relationship to society. These young people experienced an overly powerful system which tended to undermine their sense of individual agency rather than facilitate their attempts to establish themselves independently in the community. Reasons for this were primarily withdrawal of support at critical junctures compounded by lack of financial and social support which resulted in threat to their security.
Date January 2004
CreatorsErskine, S. C.
PublisherUniversity of Edinburgh
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

Page generated in 0.0147 seconds