This paper develops understandings of how being publicly identified and consequently labelled as ‘looked after’ can have damaging consequences for young people, particularly in how they are perceived by their peers in the context of schooling. Based on qualitative research in northern England utilising participatory approaches with young people and interviews with support staff, we explore barriers that inhibit young people’s sense of belonging. We highlight how the very processes and practices set up to support the young people can often have unintended consequences by routinely positioning them as Other, before considering the implications for education and schooling in particular.
Shaw, P. A., Jones, L., Dean, C., Dunhill, A., Hope, M. A., & Shaw, P. (2020). ‘We are the same as everyone else just with a different and unique backstory’: Identity, belonging and ‘othering’ within education for young people who are ‘looked after’. Children & society, 34(6), 492-506. https://doi.org/10.1111/chso.12382