Practitioner and foster carer perceptions of the support needs of young parents in and exiting out-of-home care

A systematic review

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Early parenthood is associated with a range of adverse health, economic and social outcomes. Young people with an out-of-home care (OoHC) background are more likely than their peers to become parents at an early age, and less likely to receive consistent support from their families. While previous literature reviews on this topic have focused on the experiences of young parents with an OoHC background, the perspectives of practitioners and carers are also integral to strengthening policies and practices to support this cohort. A systematic search of four databases and manual citation reviews revealed 23 articles published between January 1997 and December 2018 pertaining to 18 studies that met our inclusion criteria of responses from professionals and/or foster care providers regarding their experiences working with young parents. Salient themes included the challenges of parenting while in and exiting OoHC, placement issues, and high levels of need within this cohort. Practitioners and foster care providers also identified complications in service provision, limited resources, role confusion, and insufficient professional development in relation to their work. These findings highlight the importance of comprehensive, strengths-based, age-appropriate services for young parents within placements and after leaving care, as well as clearly delineated responsibilities and professional support for practitioners and foster care providers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104512
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • early parenthood
  • out-of-home care
  • care leaver needs
  • practitioner views
  • foster carer views

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