School experiences of young people in out-of-home care: young people’s perspectives

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Young people living in out-of-home care are at risk of poor educational outcomes. This study explored the school experiences of young people living in out-of-home care. Eight young people aged 13 to 18 years in out-of-home care participated in individual, semi-structured interviews lasting an average of 34 min. Responses were analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. Three overarching themes and nine subthemes were identified. Results illustrate the importance of children and young people in out-of-home care having supportive relationships with their teachers and peers at school. Young people valued teachers providing academic and emotional support and having peers who supported their learning at school. The identity young people assumed at school and the value they placed on learning were also emphasised. Recommendations for future research and practice changes conclude this paper.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)498-507
Number of pages10
JournalSchool Mental Health
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Children
  • Foster care
  • Out-of-home care
  • Qualitative
  • School
  • Trauma

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