Year: 2023 Source: SocArXiv Papers. (2023). SIEC No: 20230315
Background: This paper investigates the range of suicidal ideation among people with care experience. People who grew up in care have an elevated risk of suicidal ideation, behavior and dying by suicide compared to people without care experience. Objective: A comprehensive and in-depth understanding of when suicidal ideation occurs and how care-experienced people experience suicidal thoughts, especially when leaving care in England and Germany, is currently not available but would help to inform suicide prevention tailored to care-experienced people across different ages. The current study aims to address this gap. Participants: The online survey included 45 adults with care experience, age 18 to 40, who lived in foster or residential care in England or Germany. Interviews were conducted with 13 care-experienced young adults from both countries. Methods: The current study applied a mixed-methods approach, combining an online survey and semi-structured interviews with young care-experienced adults from England and Germany. Descriptive statistical and significance tests were conducted to analyze the survey data with SPSS. Framework analysis was used to analyze the interviews. Results: The findings show that many participants experienced suicidal thoughts from a young age and at different times up to adulthood. A range of suicidal thoughts and trajectories are identified with an increased risk of suicide for young people with care experience, especially during transitions such as when leaving care in early adulthood. Conclusion: The study underlines the need for a stronger recognition of suicide prevention in social work and the (leaving) care system across different countries.