Dr. Doucet has been working to improve the lives of youth in care for over 15 years, starting in her home province of New Brunswick, and now based in Montreal, Quebec. She is a former youth in care, holds a PhD in Social Work, and is a member of the Centre for Research on Children and Families (CRCF). Her doctoral research, titled Relationships Matter for Youth ‘Aging Out’ of Care, provided a platform for youth from care to develop child welfare research, policy and practice recommendations based on their lived experience expertise. As part of the project, she mounted a successful photo exhibit, which drew the attention of government policy makers and community based organizations. In collaboration with her co-researchers, she compiled an extensive report, which was released in 2018 through the BC Representative for Children and Youth and received national attention. Her efforts have also received high-level acclaim including SSHRC and Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctorial scholarships and awards. Dr. Doucet’s research aims to provide a platform for the voice of youth from care in proposing specific recommendations relevant to child welfare policies, programs and intervention strategies targeted to young people in care transitioning to adulthood.
Dr. Doucet has been involved in various youth engagement initiatives and child welfare focused organizations in her home province, Quebec, British Columbia, and nationally. As one of the first leaders of the New Brunswick Youth in Care Network (NBYCN), she presented at the first N.B. Youth in Care hearings in the provincial legislature in 2012, and is working with the Department of Social Development on child protection services policy reform efforts. Dr. Doucet is also the co-founder of the Montreal Youth in Care Alumni Student Association (MYCASA), a peer support group for former youth in care pursuing post-secondary education in the Montreal area. She has served as a Board Member for the International Foster Care Organization (IFCO) and C.A.R.E Jeunesse. Prior to relocating to Montreal, Dr. Doucet was a Project Officer for the Government of N.B.’s award winning Integrated Service Delivery (ISD) project for children and youth with emotional, behavioural and mental health issues and was pivotal to its province-wide implementation.
Dr. Doucet is a renowned public speaker on the importance of equitably supporting youth in and from care from a rights-based and humane perspective, and has organized multiple panels with other youth in care alumni in various academic and community settings across the country. She is a passionate mentor to and advocate for youth involved in the child welfare system, and continues to work on child protection policy reform initiatives across the country as part of the National Council of Youth in Care Advocates. In her current role of researcher at the CRCF, Dr. Doucet is currently leading the digital arts-based project titled Youth in Care Matter: Examining the experiences of ‘aging out’ of the child welfare system during the COVID-19 pandemic in collaboration with Director Dr. Delphine Collin-Vézina.
Relationships Matter for Youth 'Aging Out' of Care Project:
Contact: melanie.doucet [at] mcgill.ca (Email)