An exploration of support provision and experiences of leaving care during the coronavirus pandemic.


This study aimed to explore care leavers’ experiences of lockdown restrictions, imposed as a result of Covid-19. The research was interested in if and how the lockdown had impacted on health and wellbeing, as well as how young people have managed during this time.   

In addition, the study was particularly interested in support provision for care leavers. This included young people’s experiences of support availability, as well as the efforts by statutory and non-statutory services to ensure support for care leavers during this time. The research attended to the following central research questions:

1. What are young people’s experiences of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?

2. How have young people coped with the restrictions of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and how do they reflect on the impact on their health and wellbeing?

3. What support has been available during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and how do individuals reflect on its delivery and effectiveness?

4. How has support changed as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?

5. What, if any, are the lessons to be learnt from these experiences? What responses or practices could be retained after the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic? In the event of further restrictions, how could responses be improved?

Activities and Methods

A qualitative, mixed method study was undertaken featuring a survey for professionals and interviews, focus groups and creative outputs with care experienced young people. 

23 professionals from 11 local authorities in Wales answered a series of open questions via an online survey tool. The survey asked for details of new and adapted support measures available to care leavers during the pandemic. Professionals were also asked to consider lessons for the future based on their recent experiences. This included highlighting any practices they would recommend be retained after the pandemic, as well as any areas for improvement in the event of further restrictions.   

Interviews and focus groups with care experienced young people contributed more detailed insights, recognising complexity and variety in anxieties and challenges, coping strategies and responses. 21 young people took part, aged 17-25 and from 12 local authorities in Wales and 1 in England. 

Four young people also submitted poems and two submitted artwork as a means of communicating their thoughts and experiences. 


Read a copy of the report here

Lead Person

Principal InvestigatorLouise Roberts
Principal InvestigatorAlyson Rees

Academic Staff

Academic StaffDawn Mannay 
Academic StaffCindy Corliss
Academic StaffClive Diaz 
Academic StaffHannah Bayfield 
Academic StaffRachael Vaughan
Related partnersVoices from Care Cymru
FundersVoices from Care Cymru and Cardiff University 
Related documentsAccess the Report