Coram Voice part of £2.8 million MRC research programme to explore mental health outcomes for care-experienced young people

A significant, new research programme was announced yesterday (28 June 2021) by the Medical Research Council (MRC) that will investigate factors linked to the mental health and wellbeing of care-experienced young people. The research will be overseen by Dr Rachel Hiller and Dr Lisa Holmes from the universities of Bath and Oxford, with support from Coram Voice and Adoption UK, as well as three panels of care-experienced young people. 

The research focuses on two transition periods: moving from primary to secondary school, and moving from adolescence into adulthood. It aims to identify key processes linked to the mental health and wellbeing of care-experienced young people, with a specific focus on psychological process and the role of support systems and services, to identify targets for future intervention and prevention programmes.

By involving young people with direct experience of foster care, residential care and/or adoption, the researchers want to develop a deeper understanding about individuals’ pre-care experiences (ie. challenges they faced before coming into care), their experiences in care and at school, as well as how individuals see themselves and others, and manage their emotions.

Linda Briheim, Head of Policy and Practice at Coram Voice said: “Understanding how transitions impact on children in care and care leavers mental health and well-being and how they can be best supported to deal with these changes is incredibly important.

“Coram Voice are excited to be part of a research programme that explores these issues. As a charity committed to giving children and young people a voice in their care, Coram Voice are delighted to be facilitating young people’s panels with children in care and care leavers to co-produce the research.

“This will ensure the research is grounded in their experience and can identify solutions that can truly make a difference to their lives.”