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Housing pathways of young people who have left out-of-home state care


Natalier, K and Johnson, G, Housing pathways of young people who have left out-of-home state care, Housing, Theory and Society, 29, (1) pp. 75-91. ISSN 1403-6096 (2012) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2011 IBF, The Institute for Housing and Urban Research

DOI: doi:10.1080/14036096.2011.592215


As a group, young people leaving care experience multiple forms of disadvantage, including high rates of homelessness and insecure housing. Researchers have described the associated housing and life trajectories in terms of pathways but few have explicitly referenced the metaphor to the interrelationship of structure and agency that is core to Clapham’s housing pathways approach. In this paper we draw on semi-structured interviews with 77 young people who have left state care in the last five years. We identify two distinct pathways young people travel when they leave care: a smooth and a volatile pathway. Young people on both pathways face similar structural disadvantages but are differentiated in terms of their experiences in care, their ability to plan and control their transition into independent living, the degree to which supportive social networks are available and the constraints they face accessing and maintaining housing. We argue social networks are a particularly important element of the housing pathways of young care leavers, shaping, and being shaped by, their socio-economic position and engagement with institutions. They may offer important material and emotional resources that can support appropriate housing but they can also promote housing instability and entrench disadvantage.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:housing pathways, housing, homelessness, state care, youth
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Urban sociology and community studies
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Community services
Objective Field:Children's services and childcare
UTAS Author:Natalier, K (Dr Kristin Natalier)
ID Code:76328
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:12
Deposited By:Sociology and Social Work
Deposited On:2012-03-05
Last Modified:2017-12-14

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