CARE-LEAVERS' EFFORTS TO BUILD RESILIENCE THROUGH RELATIONSHIPS OF BELONGING

Sasambal Reuben, Adrian D. van Breda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article aims to deepen and theorise our understanding of the need for belonging among young people transitioning out of residential care. The study adopted a qualitative approach, with a sample of 31 residential care-leavers in South Africa, who were followed-up annually for seven years. It addresses the lack of theoretically informed studies and builds an indigenous theory to explain the care-leaving journey. This paper presents findings on care-leavers' deep desire for authentic belonging, their investment in building authentic relationships, and their frustration and failure in doing so. Implications for practice suggest an imperative to build careleavers' sense of belonging after removal from home to care, which will ultimately lead to building resilience. Social workers and child and youth care workers need to co-build networks of belonging to foster young people's perceptions of themselves and the part that belonging plays in their post-care reintegration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-362
Number of pages24
JournalSocial Work/Maatskaplike Werk
Volume60
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024

Keywords

  • aging out of care
  • belonging
  • care-leaving theory
  • leaving care
  • resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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