WARDS OF THE STATE: ANALYSING THE WELL-BEING OF CANADIAN INDIVIDUALS WHO WERE PREVIOUSLY IN GOVERNMENT CARE
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This paper evaluates the relationship between having previously been a ward of the state as a child and the likelihood of having high self-reported well-being as an adult. Using data from the 2014 General Social Survey and a probit model, with basic controls I find that being in government care as a child reduces the likelihood of having high well-being by 10.6 percentage points, or 12.5%. However, once I control for additional variables, many of which may also be influenced by being a ward of the state, this relationship disappears. As well, having previously been a ward of the state is associated with an increased likelihood of being a victim of sexual assault before the age of 15, along with lower income and education. These variables, save for low education, are found to be significantly correlated with high well-being. Also, being a ward of the state as a child is associated with: employment status, sense of belonging, disability status which also have significant impacts on high well-being in my model. Thus, there are indirect consequences on well-being stemming from being a ward of the state as a child. Programs that aid with the mental health burden of those recovering from sexual assault would be beneficial, along with direct income support, and education programs designed to increase income.