NUI Galway Launch New Book on Mentoring for Young People in Care

Date Released: 12 February 2020

Mentoring for Young People in Care and Leaving Care provides a comprehensive synthesis of current international literature on theory and practice relating to mentoring for young people in care and leaving care. Illustrated with the details of original research with care-experienced young people, it offers much-needed insight into how young people interpret and make sense of their experiences in care and of mentoring. The research with young people in Ireland found benefits of mentoring included enhanced emotional well-being, educational progression, social capital and identity development. 

The book also includes original research with young people in Ireland who have taken part in Foróige’s Big Brothers Big Sisters programme, offering valuable insights into how young people interpret and make sense of their experiences in care and mentoring.

Co-author Dr Bernadine Brady, UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, NUI Galway, said: “There are over 6,000 children in care in Ireland, with the majority cared for in foster placements. Research has shown that the needs of young people in care are often complex and extensive because of the reasons for their admission to care and/or the challenges associated with being in care. While these needs often require formal supports, such as psychology or social work, there is increasing evidence that the availability of informal social support from a trusted adult can also make a significant difference in the lives of young people.  Research has shownthat many young people in care draw on mentors – i.e. non-parental adults - for guidance, encouragement and emotional support and that those who do so tend to experience more positive outcomes.  Formal mentoring programmes aim to replicate the benefits of natural mentoring relationships by ‘matching’ a young person with a volunteer mentor who can be a friend and support to him or her.” 

Speaking at the launch, Sean Campbell, CEO of Foróige, said: “The informal social support provided through a high-quality mentoring relationship can help young people in care to sustain positive mental health, cope with stress and fulfil their potential through adolescence and into adulthood. We are delighted to launch this book, which provides a highly readable synthesis of research findings in relation to mentoring for children in care and explores the challenges and considerations relating to practice in this area.”


 Left to right, Bernadine Brady (author), Sean Campbell (CEO, Foroige who launched the book), Pat Dolan (author).