Legislation's Influence on Judiciarization

CRCF Members in this Project: Angela Campbell & Nico Trocmé
Principal Investigator: Angela Campbell
Co-Investigator: Nico Trocmé
Funding Source: Plate-forme informationnelle pour le bien-être des enfants (PIBE)
Period: 2006–2008

Using data from PIBE and related provincial datasets, this project examines rates of court use for child welfare matters in three provinces (Quebec, Ontario, Alberta) and considers whether judiciarization in each location is affected by the structure and language within the applicable provincial child welfare statute. Over the past year, a paper emerging from this research was developed and it concluded that legislation does not have a decisive effect on child welfare workers vis-à-vis the referral of cases to the courts. The paper calls for a broader investigation into the other normative factors and policy influences that might prompt particular cases involving children, youth and families to proceed through formal judicial processes.

For the past few years, Quebec’s youth centres have been collecting information about services offered to their clientele using a shared, computerized information system called Projet Intégrateur Jeunesse (PIJ) or “Integrated Youth Project”.

The PIBE project aims to develop the research aspect of this clinical information system by ensuring rigorous data through a process of definition standardization, controlling information validity and accuracy, and the sharing of tools for making use of the data.

Using the data collected by a sample of eight youth centres, the PIBE makes sure this data, in addition to informing and coordinating interventions, can also be compared over time between practitioners and centres and therefore be useful to researchers.

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