New study finds that everyday activities empower young people in care

Simply going shopping, playing in the park or reading are the kind of everyday activities that give young people in care a better sense of value and well-being according to a new study published today (30 October) into the participation experiences of young people growing up in care.

It calls on those who provide care to take better account of the value of the everyday activities young people engage with in their free time, such as, shopping, playing with pets, darts, board games, socialising, playing in the park, reading, crafting, swimming, singing, and membership based activities such as Girl Guides.

Lead author Dr Lisanne Gibson from the School of Museum Studies said: “It is already understood that participating in facilitated cultural and social activities has positive effects on children’s and young people’s wellbeing, personal development, aspiration and thus improves their life chances. Our research has also found that everyday participation is an important domain through which young people learn about the social world, their place in it, and is a domain in which they feel empowered to express themselves."

The study was carried out by researchers from the ‘Understanding Everyday Participation- Articulating Cultural Value’ project and the School of Museum Studies. The research has been published in the form of a ‘Valuing Participation: The cultural and everyday activities of young people in care’ research report.

The report is being shared with organisations and institutions throughout the UK with the aim of inviting and initiating further research, to stimulate debate, and to effect the provision of culture and leisure services to young people in care.