Disabled Care-leavers Thematic Interest Group

Convenor: Prof Dr Berni Kelly (Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland)

Welcome to the INTRAC thematic interest group on disabled care-leavers. The purpose of this new thematic interest group is to bring together researchers with a particular interest in the experiences of disabled care leavers.

In recognition of the varying definitions and models of disability used in different service, country and cultural contexts, a broad definition of disability will be applied that is inclusive of a range of physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which may or may not have been formally diagnosed and other disability-related categories, such as, special educational needs.

It is intended that the group will be broad-based and interdisciplinary, with a wide focus, including:

  • Regional and national policy impacting on support for disabled care leavers across childcare, leaving care and disability fields.
  • The intersectional needs of disabled care leavers across a range of domains including (but not limited to) gender, type of impairment and culture.
  • The interfaces between childcare, leaving care and disability services impacting on support for disabled care leavers.
  • The transition experiences of disabled care leavers, including those with borderline/mild levels of impairment who may not meet the criteria for adult disability services.
  • The support needs of care leavers with different experiences of impairment and disability and how well these are met.
  • The identities of disabled youth in transition from care as they negotiate inclusion in family, community and society.
  • Post-care outcomes for disabled care leavers including engagement in further and higher education, access to appropriate accommodation, health and wellbeing, and employment opportunities.

The aims of the group are to:

  1. Provide a forum for dialogue between members of INTRAC and/or CoRiT who have a shared interest in the intersection of disability and care-leaving
  2. Enable these members to share their published work and ongoing research with other interested members;
  3. Provide opportunities to discuss methodological approaches and theoretical perspectives relevant to researching the experiences of disabled care leavers;
  4. Explore national and international comparisons across diverse cultural and socio-political contexts;
  5. Develop collaborative international research links and explore potential collaborative funding applications; and
  6. Organise international meetings and seminars for group members.

To find out more about the group or to join, please contact Berni Kelly at b.r.kelly@qub.ac.uk