The experiences of Jordanian care leavers making the transition from residential care to adulthood: the influence of a patriarchal and collectivist culture

Rawan W. Ibrahim, David Howe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


The problems faced by young people leaving care to join the adult world are well-known. The present study adds to the current body of research on the subject by exploring the post-care experiences of young Jordanian care leavers. Forty two care leavers were interviewed, thirteen of whom also took part in a focus group. The interview data were analysed qualitatively. Jordanian care leavers described many experiences similar to those reported by young people leaving care in other countries including struggles to continue education, find accommodation, secure employment, and cope financially. Of particular interest was the more specific finding that the cultural values of patriarchy, family life, and collectivism characteristic of all Arab countries had a deeply pervasive impact on many of the care leavers' post-care experiences. The reasons that brought the young people into care, and the lack of family that most experienced upon leaving care, increased the risk of them being stigmatised. For many, managing their post-care identity in a patriarchal, family-based culture proved difficult and stressful. Although some care-leavers did receive exceptional, albeit informal support from friends and employers, the challenges faced by the care leavers were often exacerbated by the cultural values explicit in a society that is patriarchal, family-based and honour-bound. The policy and practise implications of these findings are briefly acknowledged.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2469-2474
Number of pages6
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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