McGrane, Joshua, Selwyn Julie & Baker, Claire (2024)The development and psychometric validation of a survey to measure the subjective well-being of care leavers. Children and Youth Services Review, Volume 158, March 2024

A new survey co-produced with care leavers reveals a steep decline in well-being after leaving care as well as a wide variation in care leavers’ wellbeing depending on the local authority responsible for their care, and that some groups, such as those with a disability, were more vulnerable to low wellbeing. The survey was also validated using psychometric analyses. Read the highlights below or read the full article here.

  • New co-produced survey to measure the wellbeing of care leavers in England.
  • Psychometric validation using item response theory, completed by more than a thousand care leavers, found the survey to be reliable and useful.
  • Results of the survey found that about a quarter of care leavers reported low life satisfaction compared with only 3% of their peers in the general population.
  • Care leavers who recorded that they had a disability or limiting long-term health condition were particularly vulnerable to low wellbeing.
  • A steep decline in wellbeing was reported after leaving care and a large variation in the proportion with low wellbeing depending on which local authority was providing services.
  • Overall, the survey was found to be a valid and reliable measure of care leavers’ subjective wellbeing providing practitioners with information on which aspects of life were going well and where practice and policy needed to change.