DisabIlITY AND LEAVING Care Thematic Interest Group

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

Welcome to the INTRAC thematic interest group on disability and leaving care. Established in June 2020, the purpose of this 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.

The group is open to INTRAC members who have an interest in disability issues for care leavers, including those who are actively engaged in researching the experiences of disabled care leavers and those who are new to the field.

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

Current members:
  • Prof Berni Kelly, Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Dr Claire Baker, Research and Policy Consultant, UK
  • Prof Adrian van Breda, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Wendy Mpako, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Prof Inger Oterholm, VID Specialized University, Norway
  • Ingri Hanne Brænne Bennwik, VID Specialized University, Norway
  • Associate Prof Philip Mendes, Monash University, Australia
  • Dr Leah Cheatham, University of Alabama, USA
  • Dr Gemma Crous, University of Barcelona, Spain