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No Home Away from Home: A Qualitative Study of Care Leavers' Perceptions and Experiences of ‘Home’


Natalier, K and Johnson, G, No Home Away from Home: A Qualitative Study of Care Leavers' Perceptions and Experiences of Home', Housing Studies, 30, (1) pp. 123-138. ISSN 0267-3037 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Taylor & Francis

DOI: doi:10.1080/02673037.2014.943698


This paper explores the cultural and biographical specificity of home by examining the connections between young people’s experiences of out-of-home care and their definitions of home. The paper draws on 77 in-depth interviews with young people who had lived away from their families in the Australian out-of-home care system. The paper applies a psycho-social conceptualisation of ‘home’ to argue that home was a crucial symbol through which these young people imagined a less challenging future and claimed identities of ‘being normal’. The majority remembered their time in out-of-home care as a time of instability and insecurity in terms of both housing and relationships; they did not feel at home in these contexts. These histories informed young people’s experiences and imagining of home and their sense of identity within and after out-of-home care, as they defined home as fundamentally different from out-of-home care. Their definitions incorporated shelter, emotional well-being, control, routine, caring relationships and stability.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Home, out-of-home care, foster care, placement instability, ontological security
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Other health
Objective Field:Other health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Natalier, K (Dr Kristin Natalier)
ID Code:97286
Year Published:2015 (online first 2014)
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2014-12-10
Last Modified:2018-04-06

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