“I didn’t want to be moved there”: young women remembering their perceived sense of agency in the context of placement instability
*Hébert ST, Lanctôt N, Turcotte M. (2016). "I didn’t want to be moved there": Young women remembering their perceived sense of agency in the context of placement instability. Children and Youth Services Review.70: 229-237.
In studies of children who have been placed in care, any definition of placement instability that is based only on the number of placements and the number of physical moves may well be incomplete. To understand placement instability, one must also consider the psychological shifts, both cognitive and emotional, that accompany it. In the present study, to explore the psychological shifts associated with placement instability, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 15 young women who had spent time in out-of-home placements as adolescents. Our findings show that the kinds of psychological shifts that these young women had undergone as a result of placement instability depended on how they had perceived that instability, and that in this perception, their sense of their own agency was central. Instability that they had observed only in other girls, instability that was imposed on them by external forces, and instability that they induced by their own actions all resulted in different kinds of psychological shifts. These findings are discussed in light of the empowerment.