Journey towards independent living: a grounded theory investigation of leaving the care of Girls & Boys Town, South Africa

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43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The journey out of care and towards independent living is a challenge for many care-leavers. There has been little research into the social processes involved in this care-leaving journey. This paper presents the results of a grounded theory investigation into the care-leaving journeys of nine young men who had, several years previously, been in the care of Girls & Boys Town in South Africa. Working from a resilience perspective, with an ecological emphasis, four central social processes emerged that together explain the care-leaving experiences of the participants. These processes are striving for authentic belonging; networking people for goal attainment; contextualised responsiveness and building hopeful and tenacious self-confidence. These four processes are located within contextual boundaries and at the social environmental interface. The paper presents these processes in detail, drawing on selected narratives of the participants and integrated with additional theory. It is hoped that this paper may contribute to theory building concerning care-leaving processes and enhance youth care practices for youth in care and leaving care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-337
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Youth Studies
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2015

Keywords

  • aftercare
  • belonging
  • care-leavers
  • child and youth care
  • independent living
  • resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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