It is widely recognised that young people in care and care leavers may find challenges in accessing necessary social support. Their potential support network may be adversely affected by the issues behind their being originally admitted to care, and by later experiences during their time in care and after they leave care. In this article, we explore how relationships in the workplace may be an important source of support for some care experienced young people. Such support may assist their progress in the workplace and more widely. Drawing on a study of 22 young adults who left care in Catalonia and Ireland, this article reports on participants’ experience of a range of support from bosses and co-workers. Support received included being shown trust, being given recognition, and being mentored. Participants also reported that employers and co-workers were very helpful, not only in terms of work issues, but also by providing emotional and personal support, and in many cases, by offering young people the opportunity to create meaningful and stable friendships beyond work. This paper highlights how the workplace may be a potential (and largely unrecognised) source of social support for care experienced young people.
- Care experienced young people
- Natural mentoring
- Social networks
- Social support