Youth Transition from Child Welfare to Precarious Living Conditions: A Mixed Methods Longitudinal Study of Risk and Protective Factors in Nova Scotia

Michael Ungar, Dalhousie University

About Michael

Fundings
CA$792,290.00 over 5 years

Major partners
Child Welfare League of Canada; Phoenix Youth Programs; Department of Community Services, Province of Nova Scotia; Resilience Research Centre, Dalhousie University

Abstract
Despite efforts to support the transitions out of care of young people who have had contact with Child Welfare Services (CWS), many of these youth experience periods of homelessness and other related forms of vulnerability. Few studies, however, have followed a large cohort of young people through the transition from CWS to identify the psychological, institutional, social, educational and political/policy aspects of young people’s lives that put them at risk of homelessness and those that enhance their resilience, including housing stability and engagement in school or work. This research will use multiple methods to engage youth with both child welfare and homelessness experience. Along with a cohort of youth engaged as co-researchers through participatory methods, we will randomly sample Nova Scotian 14-18-year-olds currently involved with all forms of CWS (in care and family supports) and follow them for three years using quantitative surveys. A subsample of these youth will also be invited to participate in qualitative interviews and CWS file reviews. Throughout, there will be opportunities for knowledge mobilization that builds on young people’s networks and those of our service provider and policy co-leads. This study will be a pilot for possible replication in other provinces and territories.