Completed project on physical and mental health of former affected persons

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Negative experiences in childhood or adolescence do not simply fade away over time. This is reflected in the poorer physical and mental health of those affected in their later adult life.

The placement in care of vulnerable minors and other welfare practices are actually meant to protect those concerned. In the past, however, these persons were exposed to an increased risk of child abuse and neglect, precisely because of such practices. These negative experiences can have a damaging effect on the physical and mental health of the persons affected. This study’s findings show that they have poorer physical and mental health in later adult life than persons not affected by such measures.

However, there are major differences between individuals which need to be taken into account and recognised when providing support to persons who have had painful experiences in their childhood and adolescence. Easy, inexpensive access to healthcare and social assistance services must be available to enable those affected to make use of the respective services. Further support, even after the completion of social measures, could protect those affected from adverse long-term effects on their social, physical and mental health.