Disruptions and continuities in young people's transitions from foster care to adulthood


  • Anna-Marie Herdtle University of Luxembourg


foster care, transitions, narrative identity, leaving care, agency


The aim of this article is to report on how young people in foster care experience continuities and/or disruptions during their transition to adulthood. The paper is based on the findings of a PhD thesis within the research project 'Young people's Transitions out of Residential and Foster Care – TransCare' at the University of Luxembourg, adopting a qualitative, longitudinal approach for data collection. The results of semi-structured interviews with six young people transitioning from foster care to adulthood will be presented. Combining an understanding of identity as an ongoing process aiming at the reconciliation between inner and outer exigencies which can be quite contradictory and a relational-transactional perspective of agency, we will reconstruct how young people shape their transitions from foster care to adulthood. The results show how continuities and/or disruptions impact young people's identity formation and can be linked to specific forms of agency influencing the young people's pathways and decisions during their transition to adulthood. We will discuss in which situations continuities and disruptions can be seen as supporting or hindering factors during the transition to adulthood.

Author Biography

Anna-Marie Herdtle, University of Luxembourg

Integrative Research Unit on Social and Individual Development (INSIDE), Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg.