A qualitative analysis of social care
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The research commences through a literature review of the current literature available regarding aftercare in Ireland. The overall impression from the current literature identifies a huge gap in literature for a larger scale up to date study also there is a negative aspect throughout the literature review of the aftercare system. The research took a qualitative strategy which involved semi-structured interviews with five social care workers all of which are currently working with children in care by helping and assisting each child through the aftercare process. The interviewees which consisted of two female social care workers and three male social care workers, all had a social care degree and three had a master’s qualification. Each social care worker had a number of years work experience working in this field. The results from the interviews were all thematically analysed. The results found that from the social care worker perspective for an effective typical aftercare transition to work in the favour of the child an appropriate child centred assessment must first be in place including the necessary supports and people to achieve an effective transition for the care leaver. A number of challenges were identified which care leavers face such as low levels of education attainment obtained by care leavers, high levels of mental health issues as well as homelessness and addiction being huge barriers for care leavers all seen by the social care workers’. Each social care worker where asked their own options on the aftercare system in Ireland. Many of the social care workers’ identified EPIC1 and Focus Ireland 8 as positive aspect of the aftercare sector as both organisation’s provide social support to care leavers and also numerous studies and research around aftercare in Ireland. However, the overall view of aftercare is a negative discouraging outlook from all five social care workers’. The research finally concluded with an overall summary and recommendations including the need for a larger scale national study including care leavers and social care workers’ views and experiences of aftercare should be carried out in Ireland to give a more in-depth analyse of the aftercare sector at a national level. A significant amount of funding also needs to be allocated to the aftercare sector in Ireland to provide more necessary support and facilities for care leavers. More state funding should also be allocated to organisations such as EPIC and Focus Ireland who work with care leavers through a form of support, both of which have carried out numerous research and studies around the aftercare sector in Ireland. The allocation of an aftercare worker needs to be a paramount and an important part of the aftercare transition for all care leavers. Finally, that section 45 of the child care act needs to be reviewed and amended by the Irish government because of its insufficient support for all care leavers.