Canadian child and youth advocates: a comparative analysis

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dc.contributor.author Hunter, Mary Theresa
dc.date.accessioned 2017-05-01T21:14:13Z
dc.date.available 2017-05-01T21:14:13Z
dc.date.copyright 2017 en_US
dc.date.issued 2017-05-01
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1828/8045
dc.description.abstract The purpose of this dissertation is to compare features of eleven Canadian provincial / territorial Child and Youth Advocates (CYAs) and identify factors that contribute to their success at influencing changes to public policies, practices and laws to improve services and programs for children and youth. This exploratory study compares and provides explanations regarding the CYAs’ evolution, institutional designs, legislated mandates, implementation, expectations and accountability structures. This study is based on reviews of publicly available documents and interviews with CYA key contacts, members of their legislative oversight committees and informed experts. The CYAs are statutory officers who assist their legislatures in protecting children’s rights and holding governments to account. They also provide a valuable source of information and advice for decision-makers and government agencies. Each CYA is uniquely designed to serve the needs and interests of their jurisdictions. They have overlapping functions and use some common approaches to systemic advocacy aimed at laying the groundwork for change. This study identifies several factors that contribute to the CYAs’ success at influencing systemic change. Comprehensive legislation and adequate resources enable some CYAs to undertake a full range of systemic advocacy functions. Raising awareness helps to build a common understanding of children’s rights and promotes a collective will for change to better serve their needs and interests. Effective use of the media is a powerful tool for raising awareness about the CYAs’ systemic concerns and recommended changes and for putting pressure on governments to take action. Educating and providing guidance to the media aids in controlling messages that are reported. Elevating the views and interests of young people who have direct experience with government systems is an effective strategy used by some CYAs to influence systemic change and increase the participation of young people in public decision-making. Building positive relationships with government agencies promotes greater cooperation with CYAs’ advice. The use of strategic plans for systemic advocacy may aid the CYAs to clarify their goals, objectives and performance measures and to monitor changes over time. en_US
dc.language English eng
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights Available to the World Wide Web en_US
dc.subject youth en_US
dc.subject children en_US
dc.subject rights en_US
dc.subject United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child en_US
dc.subject child welfare en_US
dc.subject legislative officers en_US
dc.subject Canada en_US
dc.subject provincial / territorial en_US
dc.title Canadian child and youth advocates: a comparative analysis en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.supervisor McDavid, James C.
dc.degree.department School of Public Administration en_US
dc.degree.level Doctor of Philosophy Ph.D. en_US
dc.description.scholarlevel Graduate en_US
dc.description.proquestcode Public Administration en_US

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