Research Projects (Child and Youth Care)

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    Pedagogical narrations: An outline for a guided workshop
    (2023-08-16) McGran, James; Kakuru, Doris
    Pedagogical narrations hold a status of importance in the Early Learning Framework (2019), but there seems to be a different reality of pedagogical narrations in frontline early childhood education practice. This project is an attempt to help bridge theory with practice by offering early childhood educators a training resource that can be used either by the individual educator or with a group of educators. Based on the work done as an early childhood educator at Queen Alexandra Centre for Children’s Health, Pearkes Building, this training resource is grounded in professional experiences for other professional early childhood educators who wish to develop their practice of pedagogical narrations. Island Health served as a community partner for this project.
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    Young Indigenous Voices: A Youth-based Mental Health Needs Assessment for the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre
    (2023-05-02) MacLeod, Ian; Silverman, Bryan
    Indigenous youth (IY) experience significantly higher rates of depression, anxiety, and attempted suicide compared with non-Indigenous people in Canada (Katapally, 2020). The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre (SLCC), located in Whistler, British Columbia, is conducting a needs assessment for the Indigenous Youth Ambassador (IYA) program attendees from September 2021 to March 2022. The IYA program is an immersive cultural and business program that teaches the foundations of business through the lens of a First Nations Museum. The majority of IY in this study live in rural and peri-urban communities. This document describes a mixed methods study of the mental health needs of Indigenous youth conducted as part of the service planning process for a system of care (SOC). Participants include 15 IYA attendees who will participate by filling out a questionnaire and 10 SLCC employees who will participate in an individual interview discussion. The aim of this project is to provide the leadership of the SLCC with data that will help them find ways to support youth with mental health issues in the IYA program, and support applications for external funding. The goal of this youth mental health needs assessment for IYA is to answer these questions.
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    Exploring developmental screening practices with Indigenous early intervention programs in British Columbia: An exploratory, qualitative study
    (2022-08-25) Nauta, Melissa; Gerlach, Alison
    The purpose of this exploratory qualitative research project was to explore developmental screening with professionals in two Indigenous early intervention programs in British Columbia (BC), the Aboriginal Infant Development Program (AIDP) and Aboriginal Supported Child Development Program (ASCD). The research was developed in collaboration with the Provincial Advisors of AIDP and ASCD and supported by their knowledge and experience. Focus groups and interviews undertaken in 2021, gathered the perspectives and experiences of AIDP and ASCD professionals (n=8) on developmental screening and how screening tools are used with Indigenous children and families. Analysis of the findings identified the following main themes: a) professionals reflecting on ‘how effective is using a screening tool’ without a relationship; b) respecting that the family steers the way; c) the importance of adapting how the screening tool is used, and d) managing the pressure of professionals moving forward. Professionals focused on the relationships built with families and the process of how a screening tool is used, rather than the tool itself. The themes apply to a broad range of early childhood programs, serving Indigenous and non-Indigenous families. Future considerations for practices are provided for individuals, organizations, and further research.
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    Youth Experiences of Drop-In Counselling
    (2022-04-28) Lampard, Tyler; Ball, Jessica
    This report documents the author’s process to engage in a collaborative project with the Foundry to explore youths’ experiences of the drop-in counselling service. This report was prepared by the report author, Tyler Lampard, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for a Master of Arts degree program in Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria. Foundry was a community partner for the project. The Campbell River Foundry office sponsored the recruitment process. The project process spanned from January 2021 to March 2022.
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    Thinking youth suicide otherwise and outside: A nature-based CYC approach to life promotion
    (2022-03-30) Storry, Sylvia; Harper, Nevin
    Youth suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth aged 15-19 in Canada. Inspired by the work of Kouri and White (2014) to think suicide otherwise, this project aimed to explore the potential of thinking suicide otherwise and outside. An exploration of program design considerations of youth suicide prevention programs and outdoor therapy programs are examined through literature review. Final recommendations of future programming potential are offered to the project partner Power To Be Adventure Therapy Society.
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    Family Wellbeing: Equitable, Accessible, and Quality Services for Children and Youth with Complex Care Needs
    (2021-11-14) Abdel-Malek, Amira; Mucina, Mandeep Kaur
    This reflective paper entitled “Family Wellbeing: Equitable, Accessible, and Quality Services for Children and Youth with Complex Care Needs ” will contextualize the Master’s Project, which is a literature review entitled “Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island: Literature Review Study – Children with Complex Care Needs” conducted on behalf of the charitable organization Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island (CHF). This reflective paper will situate the literature review (referred to in the paper as the “the Complex Care Needs (CCNs) Project”) within the context of the Child and Youth Care field. The CCNs Project explores the ways in which social and healthcare services for children with CCNs can improve their accessibility and quality. CCNs are defined as physical and/or developmental disabilities, medical conditions, or illnesses, however, this reflective paper argues that each CCN, and each person seen as having them, must be contextualized within the continuing and dynamic social and power structures of their societies, circumstances, and cultures. Therefore, the research for both the literature review and in this reflective paper is informed by the Social Determinants of Health perspective, which provides a lens through which to address equity concerns which in this research will discuss the intersections of CCNs, migration and Indigeneity. The CNNs Project utilizes a narrative approach in conducting a literature review that reinterprets, reconfigures, and rediscovers the existing information, thus displaying a new ‘story of the data’ in a fashion accessible and useful to the CHF and their shareholders (a community of professionals, donors, and practitioners in the social and healthcare sector), and this reflective paper will continue that narrative by adding contextualizing factors such as the social location of the author, some post structuralist theory and tenets of Child and Youth Care practice such as strength-based practice and commitments to social justice. The conclusions in the reflective paper reveal insights into the collection of trends and recommendations regarding ways to improve CCNs service quality and accessibility from the CCNs Project. These insights include that a) community inclusion is integral to the wellbeing of persons with CCNs, b) systemic barriers continue to impede the accessibility and quality of programs and services for these children and their families, and such barriers are layered when the family is also Indigenous, racialized, or made up of Newcomers, and c) practices that uphold trusting relationships are key to the inclusion and wellbeing of people with CCNs. This reflective paper also reviews some specific parts of the research findings in the CCNs Project which will provide examples that link this research to practice.
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    The Stressed Teens Handbook
    (2021-01-12) Goodman, Christopher; Artz, Sibylle; White, Jennifer
    Stress is common among adolescent populations and is accepted as a significant contributing factor in the onset of a range of psychopathology, including depression and anxiety. One intervention that shows promise in reducing stress and increasing wellbeing is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Teens. An important aspect of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Teens assumed to be essential to increasing the therapeutic effects of this intervention, is participants engagement in regular home practice. In order to support home practice, the author has developed a take home resource entitled, The Stressed Teens Handbook. This resource, includes variable assignments, such as self-monitoring and the scheduling of mindfulness-based behavioural experiments. The Stressed Teens Handbook is designed to help participants continue their practice of MBSR-T interventions and extend the therapeutic sessions beyond the conclusion of the Stressed Teen’s group.
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    Stories of Learning and Becoming: Emerging Programming with/in a First Nations Child Care Programs
    (2018-08-17) Hayes, Stephanie D.; Hodgins, B. Denise
    There is growing interest in emerging ECE programming that is situated in and emerges from and within the local culture and context. Emergent approaches, such as the municipal preschools in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and New Zealand’s early learning framework Te Whāriki, provide inspiration for communities that are creating emerging programs. Of key importance for ECE programs in First Nations communities is that emerging programming is guided by Indigenous knowledges and local knowledges. This report describes a community engagement project with early childhood educators in a British Columbia First Nation community that was designed to introduce some emergent approaches into their preschool and child care programs. The report provides an overview of the project, describes its activities, and provides a literature review that served as its framework. The literature review focusses on emergent approaches in ECE, particularly in the context of British Columbia, important considerations for culturally appropriate pedagogies in Indigenous communities, the influence of postfoundational perspectives in ECE, and the process of pedagogical narration as a tool for planning emergent programs. The literature review is followed by an analysis of the project through three pedagogical narrations that emphasize learning and becoming as emerging through human and more-than-human relationships. The analysis engages with postfoundational theories, Indigenous scholars, and the feedback of the educators who took part in the project. The report concludes with some considerations on the process and impact of documentation as a way to live curriculum and engage emergent pedagogies in First Nations programs, as well as key project learnings that may serve as a resource for emerging early learning programming in First Nations communities.
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    Practicum Supervision in Child and Youth Care: A Guide for Site Supervisors
    (2018-04-28) Awai, Sheila
    There are a number of factors that contribute to didactic practicum supervision for Child and Youth Care (CYC) students. Analyzing current human service research revealed field placement components that support learning outcomes. Academic instructors, site-supervisors, and students appear to agree on which parameters promote student learning, growth, and confidence in field settings. In chapter one, the determinants for progressive practicum placements extrapolated by this literature review are presented in three broad categories: elements of a developmental learning environment, supervision requisites for effective human service field placements, and necessary academic oversight. In chapter two, the informal and formal assessment methods for evaluating students in practicum are reviewed. Lastly, in chapter three the information from the literature reviews is condensed into a practical guide for practicum supervisors.
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    Children's Bodies in Early Childhood Education
    (2018-04-27) Antonsen, Connie
    This project is comprised of three separate papers that emerged from my involvement in the University of Victoria’s Investigating Quality in Early Learning Environments Project in British Columbia. Using a postfoundational framework, this action research project valued reflective thought, collaboration, decision-making and action while bringing together researchers and stakeholders as subjects in experiential and deliberate exploratory participation in the investigation of educational practices. The aim of the project, originated by Drs. Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw and Alan Pence, has been to broaden and deepen discussions on quality in early childhood education at local, regional, national, and international levels. My involvement in the project spanned an 8-month internship that included collaborating with community facilitators in the province, participating in monthly learning circle discussions with educators and researchers where we shared pedagogical narrations, reading and reflection conversations with educators and other stakeholders, connecting my own thoughts of theory and practice through reflective writing, and visiting children and educators during site visits. Each paper that unfolds stands on its own but also connects with the others. I begin with a literature review that provides a glimpse of what is known about understanding children’s bodies in early childhood education. My thematic review highlights the way current empirical research questions developmental psychology’s ideas about bodies. My approach comes from postfoundational reimaginings of bodies while asking how empirical research understands children’s bodies. The second paper asks how government policy shapes children’s bodies in early childhood education by interpreting specific sections of British Columbia’s Child Care Licensing Regulations through a critical discourse analysis. I question conformity while unpacking the institutionalized practices that control bodies, and I disrupt governmental and social power structures that regulate, normalize, and discipline bodies. Finally, the third paper unpacks my own tensions when letting go of common assumptions about bodies, while asking how early childhood education might restory the image of children’s bodies. This empirical piece complexifies bodies during a particular scenario that involves risky play. The paper advocates for bodies by contesting the powers of dominant discourse and considers the ethical implications of bodily encounters, while opening space to think differently. I notice and pay deep attention to the corporeal as it explores and generates truths that bring forth creative evolution by going beyond what is possible.
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    The Developmental Impact of Intimate Partner Violence and Evidence-Based Treatments for School-Aged Children
    (2017-09-29) Smith, Graham
    Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a pervasive issue impacting children, youth and families. While IPV creates immediate risks that relate to safety and well-being, this form of violence also impacts life course development in multiple and serious ways. For children, IPV exposure can set in motion a trajectory of difficulties or a cascading effect that results in compounding difficulties as exposed children move through their growth and development. Developing a clearer understanding of the developmental impact of intimate partner violence on children and youth is a focus for the Family Resource Association (FRA). This agency has the goal of providing well-informed, evidence-based services that are based on the most recent developmental research related to the impacts and treatment of IPV. To support the goals of this agency, this project examines in detail the research on IPV impact from development in utero through to developmental outcomes in adolescence. Incorporated in this exploration is a specific focus on the impact for boys as well as the impact of IPV on children`s care-giving systems, especially as it relates to victimized mothers. Research indicates that IPV can affect a caregiver's ability to provide guidance and support because this experience adversely impacts their mental, emotional and physical health, which in turn creates additional adverse impacts for children. Finally this project reviews, in detail, four treatment approaches shown to be effective in treating children exposed to IPV and provides recommendations for treatment.
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    Online learning for early childhood education students
    (2017-08-30) Mirau, Erin
    The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) holds statutory decision making for the Early Childhood Educator Registry – the regulatory body responsible for recognizing post-secondary institutions offering preservice early childhood education (ECE) programs and certifying program graduates in British Columbia. With the end responsibility of ensuring the safety and well being of the children under the care of early childhood educators, MCFD holds a vested interest in exploring possibilities for preservice ECE curriculum and effective modes of delivery for students in the province. With more and more students opting to complete some or all of their preservice education online, this report explores through a hybrid praxis framework 1) how online delivery of preservice ECE courses and/or programs fit within the larger (legislation, policy, etc.) context of higher education, 2) the challenges of delivering preservice early childhood education fully online, and 3) strategies to mitigate the above challenges. Considering areas of purpose (of the ECE field, and of online education), pedagogy, and practicalities, this report culminates with concrete recommendations for institutions, instructors, and for MCFD as the quality assurance body. Most pertinently, this report recommends consultation and collaboration for the creation of a reflective online learning framework for use in the province, mindful of the unique intersections of early childhood and higher educational pedagogies.
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    Strengthening Our Response to Sexual Violence: A Working Paper on Prevention and Response Strategies for Selkirk College
    (2017-05-01) Hillman, Matthew; Anglin, James
    Bill 23: Sexual Violence and Misconduct Act requires that all post-secondary institutions establish and implement a sexual misconduct policy including prevention and response measures. This paper supports the work that is being done at Selkirk College to address the prevention and response requirements of Bill 23, and support a decrease in the number of sexual assaults on campus while simultaneously working to increase the number of students who seek support following a sexual assault. This paper is informed by two Selkirk College institutional research projects, feedback provided by college staff, and information found in existing guidelines for post-secondary institutions. The resulting understanding of issues related to sexual violence on campus that emerged from this research informs the recommendations for Selkirk College’s sexual violence prevention and response strategy in various areas: identifying and utilizing a preferred language, gaining institutional buy-in and support, developing a peer-to-peer delivery model, creating and rolling out an awareness campaign and designing and implementing evaluation mechanisms. Furthermore, this paper outlines three intervention approaches that are either currently in use at Selkirk College or are being considered for delivery to the campus community in the near future: Bringing in the Bystander (BITB) training and supporting survivors education and healthy masculinities groups. While the recommendations found in this paper align with the approaches that many post-secondary institutions throughout the province are taking in order to meet the requirements of Bill 23 and to address issues related to sexual violence, this project considers needs specific to the rural college-community of Selkirk College. The perspectives and insights of Selkirk College staff members and the student body collected during this study reflect the unique nature of this institution and have been incorporated into the suggestions and recommendations this working paper offers.
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    Access to child and youth mental health services in BC: Barriers, recommendations, and strategies for improvement
    (2017-04-28) Cox, Julia; Artz, Sibylle
    This report summarizes a literature review for the Ministry for Children and Family Development (MCFD) focusing on strategies for improving access to Child and Youth Mental Health (CYMH) services, supports, and treatment. Research consisted of a review of publicly available academic, grey, and policy literature produced since 2011, in order to answer two research questions: 1) What are the barriers to accessing CYMH services in BC, and what steps have been taken to overcome them? a. What are the system-level barriers to accessing CYMH services in BC? b. What strategies have been recommended to address these barriers? c. How have these strategies been implemented? 2) Where barriers remain, what strategies can be used to address them? The literature review is organized into two sections. The first is a review of reported system-level barriers, recommendations, and actions related to improving access to CYMH services in the BC context. The second is a scoping review of academic and grey literature describing and assessing evidence for various strategies for improving access to CYMH services. Access improvement strategies can be divided into service management strategies including waitlist management, increasing engagement, centralized intake, and collaborative care; and service delivery strategies including brief therapy, technology-based delivery methods, and emerging delivery models. Additionally, there is a brief discussion of literature regarding the implementation of two child and youth mental health service transformation models, the Choice and Partnership Approach (CAPA) and Australia’s National Youth Mental Health Foundation, also known as headspace. An appendix consisting of an annotated bibliography of access improvement literature is included. Results of the literature review indicate that barriers to accessing mental health services for children, youth, and families are identified in reviews such as those commissioned by Government (e.g., Berland, 2008), by oversight bodies (e.g., Representative for Children and Youth, 2013), and by parliamentary committees (e.g., Select Standing Committee on Children and Youth, 2016). System-level barriers to CYMH services in BC include long wait times, a fragmented system that is difficult to navigate, and services that are inadequate, inappropriate, or nonexistent in some areas. Consistent with Government’s strategic plans (e.g., Ministry of Health Services, & Ministry of Children and Family Development, 2010), MCFD has taken steps to improve access to CYMH services, including opening walk-in intake clinics, developing an online inventory and map of services, supporting direct system navigation and peer support, expanding the use of videoconferencing services, and developing Youth to Adult Mental Health Transition Protocols. These initiatives align with many of the formal recommendations from the Select Standing Committee on Children and Youth and the Representative for Children and Youth. Research in child and youth mental health services is not well developed, and while there are many strategies in use, few have been shown to be effective in improving access. The approaches that show the most promise include collaborative care, centralized intake, brief therapy, peer support, some computerized CBT programs, and offering tele-mental health via telephone or videoconferencing. The CAPA service transformation model has demonstrated success in reducing wait times, and the headspace model has improved access for many groups of young people, but not all. Many of the strategies identified in the literature as having the potential to positively impact access to child and youth mental health services have been more extensively researched in the context of primary care and/or adult mental health care; additional research into the efficacy of their application in child and youth mental health contexts is needed before the evidence base will be strong enough to inform policy decisions.
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    Parenting Equanimity
    (2017-04-28) Cowasjee, Kainaz; Anglin, James; Artz, Sibylle
    The significant need for mental health counsellors and clinicians to find ways to improve caregiver or parent-child relationship provides the impetus for the author to develop a parenting handbook as part of an internship at Child and Youth Mental Health (CYMH) in Langley. Relationships in the family have a profound impact on child and youth development and well-being. Also important to child development and to our familial relationships is the way we communicate with our children because this directly shapes a child’s emerging personality and mental health. In this handbook, the author addresses the developmental needs of children and youth, connecting care-givers and parents to concepts that explain attachment, how relationships impact brain development, mindfulness strategies, finding pathways that seek to diffuse conflict and stress using examples, quotes and reflecting questions. This handbook will also provide a helpful resource to care-givers when working to build positive relationships with their children; in that it can help them to reflect upon their choices and values, experiment with new practices that fit their lives and emphasize parenting as a relationship rather than a set of techniques
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    Aboriginal Fathers: rebuilding our identity
    (2016-10-06) McVey, Wes; Ball, Dr. Jessica; Hart, Dr. John
    The negative effects of colonialism in Aboriginal communities in Canada have been well documented since Europeans first arrived and began evaluating people they did not understand. This has negatively affected more than reflected those communities, and has led to important omissions in Western knowledge. Interrupting the ongoing and systemic exclusion of Aboriginal peoples from knowledge production includes acknowledging Aboriginal people as leaders in documenting successes in their communities - like the development of a unique “Aboriginal Fathers Engagement Program” (AFEP) in the Central Okanagan of British Columbia. As a partner in such a documentation project, I have been informed by a culturally grounded research protocol that is based on meaningful participation of the community. Through this I have been led primarily by practitioners and participants within the AFEP. Documenting the program's development, along with the experiences of participants and practitioners within it, has the potential to improve responsiveness of services, increase research capacity, and facilitate the access to funding at local levels. It may also lead to a replication of this success in other communities, and contribute to a shift in paradigm and knowledge further abroad: towards a growing recognition and validation of Indigenous ways of caring for children, and of knowing.
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    Reimagining practicum in twenty-first century child and youth care
    (2016-08-26) Ainsworth, Kimberley; Pacini-Ketchabaw, Veronica; White, Jennifer
    Practicum is widely acknowledged by undergraduate students, instructors, and practicum site supervisors as key in the education of child and youth care (CYC) students, providing opportunities for students to consolidate knowledge and skills through practice and critical reflection. Tensions permeating CYC practicum, however, include logistical challenges, perceived gaps between coursework and practice, and concerns that practicum is depoliticized. There is a need to rethink CYC practicum for the 21st century, focusing on new possibilities for liveliness and generativity. The present project contributes to the CYC field by producing two documents for the University of Victoria (UVic) School of Child and Youth Care (SCYC): (1) a literature review focusing on peer-reviewed and scholarly research on practicum, “communities of practice,” and innovative conceptualizations of practicum, and (2) a “practicum working document” that builds on exemplars of innovative conceptualizations to provide suggestions for reimagining the University of Victoria CYC practicum. In addition to drawing on reviewed literature, this project is informed by discussions that took place within the UVic SCYC Practicum Council.
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    “We Don’t Feel That Love”: Retrospective Reflections on the Experiences of Removal, Transitions and Trauma from Former Youth in Care
    (2016-08-26) Scott, Angela; Anglin, James P.
    Knowledge and understanding of how the experiences of trauma are linked to removal and transitions into and through the out-of-home care system is quite limited. To address this gap in knowledge, this study explored the retrospective reflections of 20 former youth in care, between the ages of 19-24 years, within the geographical region of Lower Vancouver Island, BC in relation to the following research questions: What are the children and youth’s retrospective reflections about what was difficult, helpful, traumatizing or supportive? How do we manage transitions in a way that does not further traumatize and harm? Are there transition practices that enhance the likelihood of success? To answer these questions, this study carried out semi-structured interviews and conducted a review of the North American and international literature on removal and transition practices in child welfare. Data gathering and analysis were guided by a grounded theory approach. What emerged from attending to the voices of the youth regarding their experiences of removal, transitions and trauma was a communal or common narrative that allowed the researchers to identify five key psycho-social processes (Not Knowing, Loss or Absence of Belonging, Relational Fragmenting, De-forming Identity and Dis-spiriting) that contribute to an overall sense of ‘Not Feeling That Love’ - love that is learned and developed through deep, caring connections with others, especially adult carers. The findings of this exploratory study and the suggestions provided by the youth have several implications for policy, practice and further research to address, support, and mitigate the loss, grief, pain, and trauma frequently experienced through removal and transitions into and through the child welfare system.