Economic self-sufficiency and the employment outcomes of care leavers: A 10-year follow up

Anat Zeira, Tehila Refaeli, Netta Achdut, Rami Benbenishty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Gaining employment and reaching a stable and self-sufficient livelihood are essential life tasks, especially for young people ageing out of public care. This longitudinal study followed alumni of welfare and educational residential care settings in Israel for 10 years after leaving care. Here, we describe care leavers' employment and economic self-sufficiency outcomes and examine differences over time in their experiences. They were interviewed at the age of 19, 1-year post-care (N = 235), 3 years later (N = 222) and 10 years after ageing out (N = 151). Results paint a mixed picture. While the majority of participants were employed, many in stable jobs, their wages were low even as they grow older. At the same time, they experienced significant economic hardships. For some, economic hardship decreased with time, but for others it remained a cause for concern. Our findings highlight the inherent dependency between experiences at different life stages and suggest that providing more support to care leavers would improve their economic outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-645
Number of pages11
JournalChild and Family Social Work
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Child & Family Social Work published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • ageing out
  • care leavers
  • economic hardships
  • emerging adulthood
  • employment


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