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Youth in Care Transition to Adulthood : Needs and Resources Development of a youth peer support network.

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Presentation on theme: "Youth in Care Transition to Adulthood : Needs and Resources Development of a youth peer support network."— Presentation transcript:

1 Youth in Care Transition to Adulthood : Needs and Resources Development of a youth peer support network

2 Presentation content 1. Introduction 2. Quebec youth in care - transition to adulthood 3. Réseau l’Intersection de Québec (RIQ)  Historical perspective  Goals  Governance structure 4. Conceptual framework  Peer support  Civic life participation  Partnership 5. Evaluation process

3 1. Introduction  Largest Canadian province : area 1 667 441 sq. km (15% NTA - 17 administrative regions)  Population : 8 million [2 nd largest (23% NTP) - French speaking -79%; english 8%]  Capital : Quebec City (Old historical district on UNESCO’S World Heritage List )  Area : 454 sq. km (city)  Population : 530 168 inhabs.  Aged 0-24 years = 25% Quebec City Province of Québec

4 1. Introduction Centre jeunesse de Québec – Institut universitaire  State institution whose reason is to help youth and families overcome adversity and promote personal, family and social well- being. Three missions Child welfare institute (1/16) Rehabilitation institute for youth with social problems University institute of social services

5 1. Introduction Centre jeunesse de Québec – Institut universitaire  Six aspects must be covered to fullfill this last mission as a university institute : 1. Research (must pertain to the organization's mission, needs and priorities) 2. Education and practical training (Interveners, professionals and students) 3. Knowledge transfer 4. Development of innovative practices 5. Evaluation (Interventions’ efficiency and outreach as well as experimentation and support in the development of innovative practice) 6. Research outreach

6 2. Quebec youth in care - transition to adulthood  At the Centre jeunesse de Québec-Institut universitaire, nearly 900 youth graduate from care every year.  Youth in transition face many challenges :  Lack of family support  Low income (education, training, social skills)  Residential instability  Substance abuse  Emotional distress  Etc.

7 2. Quebec youth in care - transition to adulthood The importance of peer-support  Several researchers suggest that initiatives based on peer-support should be encouraged.  Peers might represent a significant source of support during the transition to adulthood. «Peer support is about understanding another’s situation empathically through the shared experience of emotional and psychological pain. When people find affiliation with others they feel are ‘like’ them, they feel a connection. It is a system of giving and receiving help founded on key principles of respect, shared responsibility and mutual agreement of what is helpful». (Mead, 2001).


9 3. Réseau l’Intersection de Québec Historical perspective  This initiative was inspired by Youth in Care Canada, also known as the National Youth in Care Network (since 1986). This organisation is driven by Canadian youth and alumni from care. 2010 Project proposal 2011 Youth consultation 2012 Gathering youth and potential partners 2013 Selecting a coordinator Funding Committee set up 2014 Non-profit organization status Summer program activities Official launching

10 3. Réseau l’Intersection de Québec Goals  Provide material, informational and emotional support to youth aging-out of care  Enhance transitioning youth’s social network through peer- support  Maximize the use of available resources through partnership;  Increase young people’s participation in their community’s civic life  Install a dialogue between youth and decision makers regarding social services meant for youth aging out of care

11 3. Réseau l’Intersection de Québec Governance structure Board members Partner’s committee Youth’s committee Volunteer’s committee General assembly

12 4. Conceptual framework favors a youth-adult shared control participation. Involved adults act as models for youth and offer various types of support. Tasks and responsibilities are distributed between adults and young people according to each one’s interest and expertise. Authors suggest that an approach which puts forward principles of shared control between adults and young people is susceptible to offer optimal conditions for youth’s empowerment. Indeed, youth who are connected to adults with resources increase their social capital. Adults can expand youth’s social networks by exposing them to other influential adults.

13 4. Conceptual framework Peer support Help offered by individuals sharing similar life experiences results in :  better connection  more authentic empathy  normalizes emotional reactions  arouses feelings of hope Many authors mention that youth value adults that bare a likeness to them, that is, have similar life experiences and faced similar challenges. It seems to give them more credibility, make them more trustworthy. is a peer support network (young coordinator, social grouping of youth sharing similar life experiences). We hope RIQ will:  increase youth’s thrust (hopefully through non-judgmental attitudes)  increase youth’s willingness to share their life experience and thus receive the help they really need  offer mutual support  Increase youths’ leadership and empowerment

14 4. Conceptual framework Citizen participation  Citizen’s contribution to finding answers to their community’s needs. This contribution implies a shared dialogue with other citizen’s in order to transform and improve community life.  The RIQ wishes to educate and guide young people aging out of care towards an increased participation in their community’s civic life. Let them be change agents in their community’s development. Young people who are involved in producing knowledge that impacts policy and action in their communities may develop a stronger sense of responsibility towards others. Citizenship education Citizen participation Exercise of political power

15 4. Conceptual framework Citizen participation Citizen participation benefits in many ways :  Better understanding of community issues  More effective answers to community needs  Adequacy between community needs and services  Redistribution of power, resources and information  Development of citizen knowledge and competencies For youth, citizen participation may results in :  Increased self-esteem  Better understanding and appropriation of what is at stake  Acquisition of new competences and skills  Increased life quality

16 4. Conceptual framework Partnership Integrating existing services is a challenge.  Partnership, that is a “shared project based on a commitment between different social actors in which the mission, the goals, the strategies and the duration are precisely defined” (Ninacs, 2002 : 201) is primordial. This partnership is not about creating new services for the community. Instead, it seeks to add value to existing services and to promote the integration of those services.  By involving many partners, this initiative seeks to ensure that community services are known to youth aging out of care, are available to them and are coherent with their expressed needs.

17 4. Conceptual framework Partnership  Several partnerships have been established within the community.  Targeted services are from three main areas : Housing Employment Social integration

18 5. Evaluation process Research objectives Describe the needs and available resources for youth aging out of care Evaluate eventual effects of the Réseau l’Intersection de Québec initiative Research questions 1. What are the needs of aging out of care youth ? 2. What community resources are available to support these youth? 3. What are the stakeholder’s perception of the peer-support network initiative ? Youth Participants Child welfare workers Partners

19 5. Evaluation process Questionnaires (variables) Partners Child welfare workers Youth Independent living Awareness of available resources Perceived and received social support Adult-youth collaboration Empowerment Citizen participation Awareness of available resources Partnership Adult-youth collaboration Citizen participation Expectations about the peer-support network Awareness of available resources Services integration Adult-youth collaboration Citizen participation Expectations about the peer- support network

20 5. Evaluation process Questionnaires (examples)  Independent living : employment, education, housing  Awareness of resources : victimization, substance abuse, food supply  Social support : scope, connectedness, types of support  Adult-youth collaboration : respect, communication, information access  Empowerment : self-esteem, autonomy, optimism, power  Citizen participation : abilities, active participation  Partnership : sharing resources and responsibilities, coordination  Services integration : communication, cooperation, collaboration

21 5. Evaluation process Research schedule Spring 2014 Development of research design Scientific evaluation Summer 2014 Ethic committee approval Fall 2014 Experimental project Winter 2015 Apply for grant funding Spring 2015 Knowledge transfer Pursue the evaluation process

22 Contact information Researcher : Marie-Claude Richard, Ph.D. Laval University, Quebec Research programing manager : France Nadeau, MSW Centre jeunesse de Québec-Institut universitaire, Quebec


24 References Ahrens, K., R., DuBois, D. L., Richardson, L. P., Fan, M.-Y. et Lozano, P. (2008). Youth in foster care with adult mentors during adolescence have improved adult outcomes. Pediatrics, 121(2), 246-252. Avery, R., J. et Freundlich, M. (2009). You're all grow up now: termination of foster care support at age 18. Journal of Adolescence, 32, 247-257. Boisclair, M. et Dionne, M. (2003). Le partenariat : de l'émergence à la mise en oeuvre. Une recension des écrits 1990- 2001: École nationale d'administration publique. Clayden, J. et Stein, M. (2005). Mentoring young people leaving care. York, Angleterre: Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Courtney, M. E. et Dworsky, A. (2006). Early outcomes for young adults transitioning from out-of-home care in the USA. Child and Family Social Work, 11, 209-219. Crocetti, E. et Meeus, W. (2014). “Family Comes First!” Relationships with family and friends in Italian emerging adults. Journal of Adolescence(0). doi: Cushing, G., Samuels, G. M. et Kerman, B. (2014). Profiles of relational permanence at 22: Variability in parental supports and outcomes among young adults with foster care histories. Children and Youth Services Review, 39(0), 73- 83. doi: Davidson, L., Chinman, M., Sells, D. et Rowe, M. (2006). Peer Support Among Adults With Serious Mental Illness: A Report From the Field. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 32(3), 443-450. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbj043

25 References Greenen, S. et Powers, L. E. (2007). « Tomorrow is another problem ». The experiences of youth in foster care during their transition into adulthood. Children and Youth Services Review, 29, 1085-1101. Hiles, D., Moss, D., Thorne, L., Wright, J. et Dallos, R. (2014). “So what am I?” – Multiple perspectives on young people’s experience of leaving care. Children and Youth Services Review(0). doi: 2014.03.007 Lambert, M. (2007). La participation citoyenne au niveau local: différents moyens et des idées pour se lancer: Union des Villes et Communes de Wallonie. Lanctôt, N. (2005). Que deviennent les adolescentes judiciarisées près de dix ans après leur sortie du Centre jeunesse ? Criminologie, 38(1), 139-162. Langlois, A.-M. (2006). La participation citoyenne au coeur de la responsabilité populationnelle. Québec: Ministère de la Santé et des Service sociaux. Lavoie, F. (2001). Les groupes de soutien et les groupes d'entraide. Dans F. Dufort et J. Guay (dir.), Agir au coeur des communautés. La psychologie communautaire et le changement social (pp. 157-185). Québec: Les Presses de l'Université Laval. Levitt, M. J., Levitt, J., Bustos, G. L., Crooks, N. A., Santos, J. D., Telan, P., et coll. (2005). Patterns of Social Support in the Middle Childhood to Early Adolescent Transition: Implications for Adjustment. Social Development, 14(3), 398-420. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9507.2005.00308.x

26 References Munson, M. R., Smalling, S. E., Spencer, R., Scott, L. D. et Tracy, E. M. (2010). A steady presence in the midst of change: Non-kin natural mentors in the lives of older youth exiting foster care. Children and Youth Services Review, 32(4), 527- 535. doi: Ninacs, W. A. (2002). Types et processus d'empowerment dans les initiatives de développement économique communautaire au Québec. Thèse de doctorat inédite, Université Laval, Québec. Pagé, M., Bouchard, P. et Mireault, G. (2013). L'Odyssée 2012 : une aventure vers l'autonomie. Québec: Centre jeunesse de Québec - Institut universitaire. Pallaveshi, L., Balachandra, K., Subramanian, P. et Rudnick, A. (2014). Peer-Led and Professional-Led Group Interventions for People with Co-occurring Disorders: A Qualitative Study. Community Mental Health Journal, 50(4), 388-394. doi: 10.1007/s10597-013-9612-8 Rutman, D., Hubberstey, C. et Feduniw, A. (2013). When youth age out of care: where to from there? Final report. Victoria: Gouvernement du Canada: Sécurité publique Canada. Scannapieco, M., Connell-Carrick, K. et Painter, K. (2007). In their own words: callenges facing youth aging out of foster care. Child and Adolescent Social Work, 24(5), 423-435. Singer, E. R., Berzin, S. C. et Hokanson, K. (2013). Voices of former foster youth: Supportive relationships in the transition to adulthood. Children and Youth Services Review, 35(12), 2110-2117. doi:

27 References Spencer, R., Collins, M. E., Ward, R. et Smashnay, S. (2010). Mentoring for Young People Leaving Foster Care: Promise and Potential Pitfalls. Social Work, 55(1), 225-234. Table de concertation des forums jeunesse régionaux du Québec. (2012). Cadre de référence. La participation citoyenne et les forums jeunesse régionaux. Québec. Tougas, A.-M. (2011). Obstacles et facilitateurs à la participation citoyenne dans les politiques publiques municipales : le cas des PFM. Gatineau, Canada: Université du Québec en Outaouais. Wong, N., Zimmerman, M. et Parker, E. (2010). A Typology of Youth Participation and Empowerment for Child and Adolescent Health Promotion. American Journal of Community Psychology, 46(1-2), 100-114. doi: 10.1007/s10464- 010-9330-0

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