Long-term outcomes for care-experienced parents and children: Evidence of risk and resilience from two British cohort studies

Background

This project aims to examine the experiences of care leavers who became parents (of cohort members) and the intergenerational impact on their children’s outcomes, from childhood into early adulthood. The research uses information from the 1970 British Cohort Study and the Millennium Cohort Study

Research details

Project title

Long-term outcomes for care-experienced parents and children: Evidence of risk and resilience from two British cohort studies

Project lead

Dr Sam Parsons

Team

Professor Ingrid Schoon and Professor Emla Fitzsimons

Themes

Child development
Childhood adversity
Education
Employment, income and wealth
Expectations, attitudes and beliefs
Family networks
Health behaviour
Housing and local environment
Mental health and wellbeing
Physical health
Poverty
Social mobility

Dates

March 2021 – March 2023

Funder

Nuffield Foundation – visit the project page on the Nuffield Foundation website.

Summary

This study will examine the experiences of care leavers who became parents and the intergenerational impact on their children’s outcomes. The care leavers in this study are parents of cohort members.

Using information from the 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70) and the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS), the aims of the study are to examine:

  • the socioeconomic resources available to care-experienced parents;
  • outcomes of their children from the very early years to post-16 transitions and into early adulthood (BCS70 only); and,
  • potential protective factors and processes supporting effective functioning among care-experienced parents and their children.

The project team will examine the adjustment of these children across a range of domains, including cognitive and behavioural development, experiences at school and physical and emotional wellbeing. We will evidence a wide range of socioeconomic and wellbeing markers for care-experienced parents, including their access to health care.

Prior research has revealed a link between care-experience and poorer outcomes later in life. The 2013 Care Leaver Strategy, published by the UK Government, identified key areas where care leavers needed more robust support: education, employment, finance, health, housing, justice system and on-going support.

The research will identify opportunities to support care-experienced parents and inform policies to support future care leavers to become independent, and to improve their life chances and those of their children.

Project poster

This poster serves as an introduction to this care leavers project and also shows how care leavers and their children experienced the COVID-19 pandemic.

Outputs

Briefings & Impact

Resources available to mothers who experienced out-of-home care in childhood: Evidence from the UK Millennium Cohort Study

Author: Sam Parsons and Ingrid Schoon

What are the socioeconomic and psychosocial resources available to female care-leavers who became mothers? It is well documented that the experience of out-of-home care can lead to more problematic post-16 transitions and poorer adult outcomes. This new research examines the experiences of care-leavers who become mothers.

Download

Scientific publications

Parson, S. & Schoon, I. (2022)
Does the trauma associated with out-of-home care transmit across generations? Evidence from the 1970 British Cohort Study during a major health pandemic
BMJ Open
Read the full paper
Parson, S. & Schoon, I. (2021)
Descriptive profile of mothers by their experience of out-of-home care in childhood: evidence from the UK Millennium Cohort Study
Econ Papers
Read the full paper

Researchers

Sam Parsons Research Fellow

Phone: 020 7612 6882
Email: sam.parsons@ucl.ac.uk

Sam has a long history of producing research based on the British Birth Cohorts, from the antecedents and consequences of poor basic skills in adult life, to more recent research focusing on poorer outcomes for children with Special Education Needs, the gendered occupational occupations of teenagers and the long-term advantages for men and women who attended a private school and/or an elite university.

Emla Fitzsimons Professor of Economics and Director of the Millennium Cohort Study

Phone: 020 7331 5129
Email: E.Fitzsimons@ucl.ac.uk

Emla is the Director of the UK Millennium Cohort Study, a longitudinal birth cohort study following children born at the turn of the new century. Her research is focused on the development of human capital throughout the life course, and in particular how experiences and circumstances in early life and childhood affect causally the acquisition of skills later on.

Ingrid Schoon Professor of Human Development and Social Policy at the UCL Social Research Institute (SRI)

Relevant studies

Contact us

Centre for Longitudinal Studies
UCL Social Research Institute

20 Bedford Way
London WC1H 0AL

Email: clsfeedback@ucl.ac.uk