The role of carers in supporting the progress of care leavers in the world of work

Robbie Gilligan, Laura Arnau-Sabatés

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd The aim of this component of a preliminary cross-national study (Ireland and Catalonia) of care leavers' experience in the world of work is to explore how carers may influence the entry of young people in care into the world of work and how they may also influence the young people's progress in that world. A total of 22 care leavers, aged 23–33 years, were recruited on the basis of their having substantial employment experience since leaving care. Evidence from the interviews reveals the importance of the role of carers in the work-related progression of the young care leavers, especially in relation to gaining work experience while they were still in care. The qualitative analysis shows that carers were influential in promoting (and sometimes hindering) progress in work and education. Carers were often reported to play an important role in opening up opportunities, giving support (modelling skill development, giving practical help, etc.), being role models and cultivating the young person's agency. On the basis of these findings, we propose an initial conceptualization of carer roles in positive work support.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)792-800
JournalChild and Family Social Work
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


  • agency
  • care leavers
  • carers
  • mentoring
  • support
  • world of work


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of carers in supporting the progress of care leavers in the world of work'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this