The conceptualization of career development success among young people who aged-out of out-of-home care in Canada

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University of New Brunswick


This qualitative study explored how young people who had formerly aged-out of an out-of-home care setting conceptualize career development success. Guided by Elliott’s (2005) narrative approach for social research, this study addressed the question: How do young people who were formerly in out-of-home care and who self-identify experiencing career development success conceptualize their career success? Data were collected using open-ended individual interviews and analyzed using Braun and Clarke’s (2006; 2012) thematic analysis. Three primary themes (i.e., economic security, supportive work environment, suitable career fit) and seven subthemes embodying participants’ conceptualizations of career development success were revealed. These findings challenge the negative discourse about career development in young people in care that dominates the existing research literature. The findings also suggest specific directions for practice in the context of counselling and related fields.