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Durham University

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Publication details for Professor Simon Hackett

Stepanova, E. & Hackett, S. (2014). Understanding Care Leavers in Russia: Young People's Experiences of Institutionalisation. Australian Social Work 67(1): 118-134.

Author(s) from Durham


Care leavers in Russia represent one of the most disadvantaged groups in society. However, they have rarely been the focus of welfare policy debate and they receive little or no support in their independent living. This paper presents the findings of a survey of Russian care leavers. The emphasis is on care leavers' experiences of the Russian institutional care system, and the issues that impacted on their postcare transition to adulthood. A number of factors were found to influence the wellbeing of care leavers, including placement instability, institutional isolation, poor education, stigmatisation of care leavers, relationships with “houseparents”, and supportive and often challenging friendships. Findings are discussed in relation to debates about the degree and nature of institutional care of children in Russia and elsewhere.