Young People in Out-of-Home Care
Findings from the Ontario Looking After Children Project
Imprint: University of Ottawa Press
Child abuse is typically considered to be the most severe form of early adversity to which children or adolescents can be subjected. Maltreated young people seen as at the highest risk are likely to be placed in out-of-home care for their own protection, including foster care, kinship care, group care, or independent living. Outcomes and Well-Being of Young People in Out-of-Home Care is based on more than two decades of applied research and evaluation, conducted since 2000, as part of the ongoing Ontario Looking After Children (OnLAC) Project.
The OnLAC project was based on a new child welfare approach known as Looking After Children, developed in the UK in the late 1980s and 1990s, to reform and improve services to vulnerable young people who were being looked after in out-of-home care. When launched in 2000, the OnLAC project “Canadianized” the UK approach and partnered with the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) and some 20 children’s aid societies in the province. Since 2007, the Ontario government has mandated that local societies use the OnLAC method to plan services and monitor outcomes.
Since 2000, the OnLAC project has gathered information on results and well-being from interviews with more than 35,000 young people in care (including Indigenous, Black, and francophone young people), their caregivers, and their child welfare workers. Well-Being of Children and Youth in Care presents major project findings and lessons that promise to improve young people’s education, development, health, social and family relationships, mental health, and preparation for transition to community life.
Chapter 1: The Convergence of Two Developmental Frameworks: Looking After Children and Child Well-Being
Chapter 2: Developmental Assets
Chapter 3: Physical Development and Health
Chapter 4: Education
Chapter 5: An Educational Snapshot of a Young Person in Care
Chapter 6: Cultural and Personal Identity
Chapter 7: Family and Social Relationships
Chapter 8: Assessing Young People’s Mental Health from their Level of Well-Being and Type of Residential Placement
Chapter 9: Norms for the Canadian Casey Life Skills Assessment
Chapter 10: Lessons from the Ontario Looking after Children Project for Improving the Outcomes and Well-Being of Young People in Care