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  • Writer's picturekellygrigg

Children of care leavers risk inheriting parents’ emotional scars: UCL study

A study from UCL, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, reveals the intergenerational impact of being taken into care, the long shadow cast on an individual’s life and that of their subsequent children, as well as the circumstances that support resilience in such adversity.


The researchers found that mothers who were in care during their childhood were at greater risk of mental health difficulties than their peers who had not experienced care, with their children also experiencing higher rates of psychological problems. However, there was evidence of resilience among care leavers. Although they were more likely to experience multiple disadvantages in health, education and employment, more than a quarter of mothers who grew up in care went on to gain educational qualifications and have stable employment.


The research involved mothers and their children taking part in the Millennium Cohort Study, which follows people born across the UK between 2000 and 2002. Of the more than 18,000 mothers included in the analysis, around 300 (1.7 per cent) reported that they had lived in a children’s home or in foster care during childhood.


For an infographic showing the study results click on the link below.




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