The coping of young Finnish adults after out-of-home care and aftercare services: A document-based analysis
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CitationHäggman-Laitila, Arja. Salokekkilä, Pirkko. Satka, Mirja. Toivonen, Katri. Kekolahti, Pekka. Ryynänen, Olli-Pekka. (2019). The coping of young Finnish adults after out-of-home care and aftercare services: A document-based analysis. Children and youth services review, 102, 150-157. 10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.05.009.
Young people taken into custody and lacking the support of their families suffer from social and health problems more often than their peers, and the likelihood of their marginalization in later life can be significantly higher. The aim of this study is to discover how the different factors documented at the time of the custody decision or the placement in out-of-home care are associated with the coping abilities of young adults once aftercare services come to an end. The original dataset consisted of 428 measured variables taken from 600 young Finnish adults who have participated in aftercare services. The data were collected at the end of the aftercare period in 2015 from electronic customer/patient record systems. Original free-text documents were read and data extracted and collected on a structured electronic worksheet. All of the factors that had influenced the custody decisions were included in the dataset. Thus, the data consisted both of the baseline and follow-up data. The data were analyzed with BayesiaLab 7.0 tool. Altogether, 18.5% of examined persons had no remarkable coping problems, 74.5% had some challenges and 7% experienced serious difficulties. A child's own problems, such as substance use, running away from home or truancy, were associated with a poorer prognosis compared to children whose custody decisions stemmed from their parents´ urgent life situations, e.g. substance use, violence or serious mental health issues. Children and adolescents who may be in need of child protection services require effective preventive care activities. If a child does enter out-of-home care, s/he will need more influential social support and personal follow-up to enhance his or her long-term wellbeing as early as possible.