Future expectations as a source of resilience among young people leaving care

Yafit Sulimani-Aidan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Young adults who leave care enter a crucial period in their lives in which they have to plan their future and make significant decisions regarding many aspects of their adult life (Arnett, 2000). During emerging adulthood, their expectations for the future are especially important and could influence their goal setting and motivation to accomplish those goals. However, little attention has been paid to the importance of future expectations of care leavers as a source of resilience. This paper aims to address the role of future expectations among young people leaving care in the context of resilience theory and emerging adulthood theory. It describes the challenges these youth face in transition to adulthood and the role that future expectations play during this period. Further, it reviews studies that examine the correlations between future expectations, resilience and outcomes, and focuses on two possible personal and environmental resources that can contribute to care leavers’ positive future expectations: optimism and social support. In addition, it articulates the possible links connecting future expectations with resilience. Finally, it suggests a unified approach that integrates both environmental and personal components for increasing future expectations and concludes with implications for practice and directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1111-1127
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • Care leavers
  • Emerging adulthood
  • Future expectations
  • Social support


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