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Better Understand to Better Serve: a Province-Wide Knowledge Mobilization Initiative in Child Protection

Abstract

Child protection is one of the fastest growing service sectors in Canada, yet we know surprisingly little about the effectiveness of these services. This article presents a provincial university-agency knowledge partnership aimed to better understand the dynamics of child protection services. For exemplary purposes, the results of a service outcome indicator on out-of-home placement will be reported along with province-wide secondary analyses examining when and for whom out-of-home placement is most likely to occur.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    For examples, see Rubin et al. 2007; Rubin et al. 2004; Garbarino et al. 1992; Doyle 2007; Jonson-Reid and Barth 2000a; 2000b; Main and Hesse (1990).

  2. 2.

    In general, child protection services in Quebec are the responses by child protection authorities to reports of abuse and neglect in families. The structure of child protection services vary across jurisdictions, however, the social and legal tenants that guide child protection practice are common across North America and are centered on family preservation and permanency. At the program level, agency authorities tend to focus their efforts on providing supportive services aimed at keeping the family intact, reunifying the family if a child is removed, or if reunification is impossible, permanency planning for the child. For more information see Munro (2008).

  3. 3.

    Urie Bronfenbrenner is credited with developing the theory of the bio-ecology of human development, which is social-psychological framework for understanding one’s interacting environments and the role those environments have in human development. Jay Belsky (1980) applied ecological theory to child maltreatment reduction and prevention interventions (1980).

  4. 4.

    For more information and figures representing the ecological domains see Trocmé et al. 2013; Trocmé et al. 2011a.

  5. 5.

    Relative change calculated using the following formula: ( (y2 − y1)/y1) 100.

  6. 6.

    Refer to Esposito et al. 2013.

  7. 7.

    The socioeconomic disadvantages index consists of six socioeconomic indicators for each of Quebec’s 10,907 census dissemination areas. For each of the census dissemination areas, we coded the (1) total population 15 years and over who are unemployed or not in the labor force; (2) median income in 2005 for population 15 years and over; (3) total persons in a private household living alone; (4) total population 15 years and over who were separated, divorced or widowed; (5) family median income in 2005; and (6) median household income in 2005. A principal component analysis with varimax rotation was performed to create the index of socioeconomic disadvantages. The process reduced the six indicators into a single socioeconomic disadvantages construct for each dissemination area. The socioeconomic disadvantage index was then linked with the child protection clinical administrative data based on the children’s postal codes at initial maltreatment investigation.

  8. 8.

    Regions represent territorial aggregations used to organize the delivery of provincial government services. They are often referred as Quebec administrative regions.

  9. 9.

    Poverty measures refer to: 1) the regional percentage of people receiving social assistance payments for years 2008 to 2012, and; 2) the percentage of low income families with children for years 2008 to 2012. Health and social services spending refers to regional per capita health and social services spending (excluding child protection services spending) between 2006 and 2014.

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Correspondence to Tonino Esposito.

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Esposito, T., Trocmé, N., Chabot, M. et al. Better Understand to Better Serve: a Province-Wide Knowledge Mobilization Initiative in Child Protection. Child Ind Res 9, 651–661 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-015-9335-1

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Keywords

  • Child protection
  • Knowledge mobilization
  • Indicators
  • Longitudinal analysis
  • Out-of-home placement