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Traumatic Life Events of Youth in Care

Principal Investigator: Delphine Collin-Vézina
Co-Investigators:            I. Daigneault
Funding Source:              RBC Children’s Services Research & Training Program
Period:                                 2011

This research project seeks to explore the traumatic events lived by youth in group home care, as well as to identify the sequelae associated with these experiences. Over 70% of the adolescent clientele in the child protection system is taken in charge not because of family dysfunction or experiencing maltreatment, but due to behavioural problems, (Pauzé et al., 2004). Therefore, the traumatic events lived by these youth may go unnoticed and/or not be considered while preparing the treatment plan. A better understanding of the traumatic events lived by these youth, as well as the sequelae of these on their mental health state, would enable better services to be offered to these youth. Most notably, sexual abuse is recognized as being infrequently disclosed to the child protection authorities (MacMillan et al., 2003), thus limiting accessibility to specialized services. In order to get a better picture of the traumas lived by the youth in group home care and the associated sequelae, 53 youth in group home care were recruited for this project. The results from this study have been disseminated in the International Journal of Mental Health & Addiction (Collin-Vézina, Coleman, Milne, Sell, & Daigneault, 2011). Another manuscript has been submitted to the Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma (Milne & Collin-Vézina). This project has laid the groundwork for a community-university partnership grant that was submitted to CIHR in the fall 2011 (results to be announced in April 2012).