Marie-André Poirier, Researcher, Montreal University, Canada
Sonia Hélie, Researcher, Canada
Most of the youth protection systems are based on the principle that every effort must be made to maintain children in their family environment. However, a significant number of children do not grow up in their family of origin, due to situations that compromise their security or development. In Quebec, the use of family foster care is an important part of the continuum of services for children and families in difficulty and like elsewhere in the world, kinship care is being used with greater frequency as a form of out-of-home placement. Based on the findings of two longitudinal cohort studies, this conference will present the most up-to-date data on these two placement settings in Quebec, focussing on the characteristics of the placement trajectory. The first study relies on a cohort of 2,000 children investigated by child protection services (CPS) in 2009 and placed in foster family before 2012. Administrative data from all 16 Québec CPS agencies have been used to track placement trajectories over a follow-up of 3 to 4 years. The second study relies on a five-year follow-up of 170 children placed in kinship care before the age of 13 in one urban CPS agency of Québec. Along with sociodemographic profile of the children, length-of-stay in care, placement stability, type of exit from care (reunification, adoption, long-term foster care) will be presented. Discussion will focus on the role that these two family placement settings can play in the global CPS response to children and families in difficulty.
Key-words: trajectories, children, foster care, kinship care