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.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
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).
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).
Relative change calculated using the following formula: ( (y2 − y1)/y1) 100.
Refer to Esposito et al. 2013.
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.
Regions represent territorial aggregations used to organize the delivery of provincial government services. They are often referred as Quebec administrative regions.
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.
Barwick, M. A., Boydell, K. M., Stasiulis, E. Ferguson, H.B., Blase K. & Fixsen, D. (2008). Research utilization among children’s mental health providers, Implementation Science, 3(19).
Belsky, J. (1980). Child maltreatment: an ecological integration. American Psychologist, 35(4), 320–335.
Bowlus, A., McKenna, K., Day, T., & Wright, D. (2003). The economic costs and consequences of child abuse in Canada. Report to the Law Commission of Canada. Retrieved on August 8, 2014 from: http://dalspace.library.dal.ca/handle/10222/10274?show = full.
Chagnon, F., Pouliot, L., Malo, C., Gervais M.J. & Pigeon, M. É. (2010). Comparison of determinants of research knowledge utilization by professionals and administrators in the field of child and family social services, Implementation Science, 5(41).
Doyle, J. (2007). Child protection and adult crime: using investigator assignment to estimate causal effects of foster care. Journal of Political Economy, 116(4), 746–772.
Esposito, T., Trocmé, N., Chabot, M., Shlonsky, A., Collin-Vézina, D., & Sinha, V. (2013). Placement of children in out-of-home care in Quebec, Canada: when and for whom initial out-of-home placement is most likely to occur. Children and Youth Services Review, 35(12), 2031–2039.
Garbarino, J., Dubrow, N., Kostelny, K., & Pardo, C. (1992). Children in danger: Coping with the consequences of community violence. San Francisco: The Jossey-Bass social and behavioural science series and the Jossey-Bass education series.
Gervais, M. J., Chagnon, F., & Paccioni, A. (2011). Augmenter l’utilisation des données probantes par les intervenants et les gestinnaires en centre jeunesse. Service Social, 57(1), 49–62.
Harvey, G., Loftus-Hills, A., Rycroft-Malone, J., Titchen, A., Kitson, A., McCormack, B., & Seers, K. (2002). Getting evidence into practice: the role and function of facilitation. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 37(6), 577–588.
Hemsley-Brown, J. (2004). Facilitating research utilization: a cross-sector review of research evidence. The International Journal of Public Sector Management, 17(6/7), 534–552.
Hemsley-Brown, J., & Sharp, C. (2003). The use of research to improve professional practice: a systematic review of the literature. Oxford Review of Education, 29(4), 449–470.
Jonson-Reid, M., & Barth, R. P. (2000a). From maltreatment report to juvenile incarceration: the role of child welfare services. Child Abuse & Neglect, 24(4), 505–520.
Jonson-Reid, M., & Barth, R. P. (2000b). From placement to prison: the path to adolescent incarceration from child welfare supervised foster or group care. Children and Youth Services Review, 22(7), 493–516.
Main, M., & Hesse, E. (1990). Parents’ unresolved traumatic experiences are related to infant disorganized attachment status: Is frightened and/ or frightening parental behavior the linking mechanism? In M. T. Greenberg, D. Cicchetti, & E. M. Cummings (Eds.), Attachment in the preschool years (pp. 161–182). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Munro, E. (2008). Effective child protection (2nd ed.). London: Sage Publication. 176 pages.
Rubin, D. M., Alessandrini, E. A., Feudtner, C., Mandell, D. S., & Localio, A. R. (2004). Placement stability and mental health costs for children in foster care. Paediatrics, 133(5), 1336–1341.
Rubin, D. M., O’Reilly, A. L. R., Luan, X., & Localio, A. R. (2007). The impact of placement stability on behavioural well-being for children in foster care. Paediatrics, 119(2), 336–344.
Trocmé, N., Fallon, B., MacLaurin, B., Sinha, V., Black, T., Fast, E., & Holroyd., J. (2008). Canadian incidence study of reported child abuse and neglect. Public Health Agency of Canada.
Trocmé, N., Esposito, T., Laurendeau, C., Thomson, W., & Milne, L. (2009). La mobilisation des connaissances en protection de l’enfance. Criminologie, 42(1), 33–59.
Trocmé, N., Esposito, T., Mulcahy, M., Coughlin, L., Fallon, B., MacLaurin, B., & Shlonsky, A. (2011a). The national child welfare outcomes indicator matrix (NOM) and its application in a child welfare agency. In K. Kufeldt & B. McKenzie (Eds.), Child welfare: Connecting research, policy and practice (2nd ed.). Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
Trocmé, Milne, L., Laurendeau, C., & Gervais, M. J. (2011). Evidence-based management in child welfare: A process and outcome evaluation. Centre for Children and Families, McGill University.
Trocmé, N., Esposito, T., Chabot, M., Duret, A., & Gaumont, C. (2013). Rapport synthèse –Gestion axée sur les indicateurs de suivi clinique, données Québécoise, McGill University.
About this article
Cite this article
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
- Child protection
- Knowledge mobilization
- Longitudinal analysis
- Out-of-home placement