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Higher Education for Care Leavers without Family Support

The contribution of individual, social support and institutional characteristics to perceived readiness to leave care in Israel: An ecological perspective

Dinisman, T., & Zeira, A.(2011). The contribution of individual, social support and institutional characteristics to perceived readiness to leave care in Israel: An ecological perspective. British Journal of Social Work 41, 1442-1458.

This study explores the readiness to leave care of adolescents in their final year of out-of-home placement. The associations of three ecological levels—individual, social support and institutional characteristics—with readiness to leave care were examined. The results were obtained from a self-administered survey by 272 adolescents in twenty-six residential settings in Israel. Readiness to leave care was explained mostly by individual characteristics, mainly self-esteem and the current work situation. The contribution of the social support characteristics was also significant, mainly the support from peers and the residential staff. However, the institutional characteristics did not contribute at all. These findings highlight the powerful contribution of individual characteristics and the importance of social support before leaving care. The weak contribution of the institutional level emphasises the need to re-examine training programmes for independent living and to rethink the approach. Future research on the readiness to leave care should also investigate the contribution of other ecological levels such as the effect of a mentor.

Keywords:

Readiness to leave care

residential care

independent living programs

Israel