Building Research Capacity in Child Welfare in Canada: Advantages and Challenges in Working with Administrative Data (Chapter 25 in Re-Visioning Public Health Approaches For Protecting Children). (Child Maltreatment: Contemporary Issues In Research And Policy, Volume 9).
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Child maltreatment is a major public health issue, affecting over 200,000 children in Canada every year. Yet child welfare services are being offered to families with limited evidence of service effectiveness. The transition to evidence-based decision making requires a significant investment of resources and time to better understand the service trajectories and outcomes for the children, youth and families served by child welfare agencies. However, due to the ever-increasing demands for child welfare services, agencies do not have the capacity to develop and implement evidence-based practice models. The Building Research Capacity (BRC) model was developed to support the research needs of child welfare organizations by placing the university’s research infrastructure at the service of community agencies. The BRC has created robust research partnerships as access to administrative data has significantly enhanced the quality of findings, allowing agencies to make better use of research findings, leading to the development of evidence-based practice and research capacity building within the agency. The purpose of this chapter is to document and discuss the conceptual, methodological, ethical, and infrastructure related issues that arise in doing this work, while providing examples of the usefulness and challenges of using administrative child welfare data to inform policies and programs. (Author abstract)
Canada; public health services; child protective services; barriers; data analysis; capacity building; research needs; evidence based practice; models; partnerships