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Asset-building and the Ontario Looking After Children (OnLAC) Project: Promoting resilient outcomes in young people in care Cynthia Vincent, Shaye Moffat,

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Presentation on theme: "Asset-building and the Ontario Looking After Children (OnLAC) Project: Promoting resilient outcomes in young people in care Cynthia Vincent, Shaye Moffat,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Asset-building and the Ontario Looking After Children (OnLAC) Project: Promoting resilient outcomes in young people in care Cynthia Vincent, Shaye Moffat, Marie-Pierre Paquet, Robert Flynn, & Robyn Marquis Centre de recherche sur les services éducatifs et communitaires Université d’Ottawa Centre for Research on Educational & Community Services University of Ottawa

2 OUTLINE Background  Developmental Assets  OnLAC Project The present OnLAC study  Method  Results Implications for practice Discussion with audience

3 DEVELOPMENTAL ASSETS Search Institute (www.search- institute.org)www.search- institute.org 40 Developmental Assets Developed from the best lessons from prevention, risk reduction, and resilience research (Scales, 1999)

4 DEVELOPMENTAL ASSETS 20 External Assets:  Support  Empowerment  Boundaries and expectations  Constructive use of time 20 Internal Assets:  Commitment to learning  Positive values  Social competencies  Positive identity External Assets and Internal Assets:  Offer protection  Promote resilience

5 The Ontario Looking After Children Project (OnLAC) Longitudinal study Mandated in all 53 local CASs since 2006 Goal:  to improve the quality of out-of-home care  to promote positive parenting to improve outcomes Strengths-based Supported by resilience research Outcome focused OnLAC + SAFE + PRIDE = Ontario Practice Model

6 OnLAC Project LAC developed in the UK in 1987 Uses the Second Canadian Adaptation of the Assessment and Action Record (AAR-C2) Search Institute’s Developmental Assets were adapted when incorporated into AAR-C2

7 METHOD Participants: (N = 713, in OnLAC yr 5)  years old  56% male, 44% female  Mean age 14 years  85% in foster care (including kinship care)  15% in group homes  87% Crown Wards

8 METHOD (continued) Measures from OnLAC AAR-C2 (and sources of data):  Assets profile (CWW)  Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire - SDQ – Prosocial and Total Difficulties Scales (caregiver)  Academic performance (caregiver)  Self-esteem (young person in care)  Relationship with female caregiver (young person)  Placement satisfaction (young person)  Adverse life experiences since birth (young person)

9 RESULTS Percentage of sample with varying levels of developmental assets (N = 713)

10 RESULTS Mean number of developmental assets, by gender GENDER

11 RESULTS Significant associations of developmental assets with the following outcomes:  Positive correlations:  Prosocial  Academic performance  Self-esteem  Relationship with female caregiver  Placement satisfaction  Negative correlations:  Psychological difficulties (SDQ Total Difficulties Score)

12 RESULTS Net association (Betas) of predictors with SDQ Prosocial Score (N = 636) * Statistically significant association

13 RESULTS Net association (Betas) of predictors with SDQ Total Difficulties Score (N = 636) * Statistically significant association

14 RESULTS Net association (Betas) of predictors with Academic Performance (N = 666).34* * Statistically significant association

15 RESULTS Net association (Betas) of predictors with Self-esteem (N = 676) * Statistically significant association

16 RESULTS Net association (Betas) of predictors with Relationship with Female Caregiver (N = 674) * Statistically significant association

17 RESULTS Net association (Betas) of predictors with Placement Satisfaction (N = 693) * Statistically significant association

18 DISCUSSION Present study consistent with research:  Females have more assets (mean of 29 assets)  Males (mean of 26 assets)  More assets = better mental health, more prosocial behaviour, better academic performance  Assets offset risks 31 assets contribute to maximum protection Asset-building, combined with risk reduction, is especially effective

19 IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE Intervention strategies to offset risk factors:  Resources to support academic achievement  Positive relationships and social networks  Opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities  Participation in community  Nurture positive self-esteem and self- identity

20 IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE  Intervention strategies continued:  Risk reduction  Provide opportunities for young people to build on their strengths  Identify specific assets to build into plans of care  Nurture the acquisition of developmental assets  Effective communication between young people, their caregivers and child welfare workers  Collaboration between home, school and community

21 REFERENCES Flynn, R. J., Ghazal, H., Legault, L. (2004). Looking After Children: Good Parenting, Good Outcomes, Assessment and Action Records. (Second Canadian adaptation, AAR-C2). Ottawa, ON, & London, UK: Centre for Research on community Services, University of Ottawa & Her Majesty’s Stationary Office (HMSO). Masten, A. (2006). Promoting Resilience in development: A general framework for systems of care. In R. J. Flynn, P. M. Dudding & J. G. Barber (Eds.). Promoting resilience in child welfare (pp. 3-17). Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press. Scales, P. C. (1999). Reducing risks and building developmental assets: Essential actions for promoting adolescent health. Journal of School Health. 69, Scales, P. C., Benson, P. L., Leffert, N., & Blyth, D. A. (2000). Contribution of developmental assets to the prediction of thriving among adolescents. Applied Developmental Science. 4, (1),


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