The Cedar Project: Relationship between child apprehension and attempted suicide among young Indigenous mothers impacted by substance use in two Canadian cities

Indigenous leaders are gravely concerned over disproportionate representation of Indigenous children in Canada’s child welfare systems. Forced separation from children is deeply traumatizing for mothers and detrimental to the wellbeing of Indigenous families, communities and Nations. This study examined relationships between child apprehension and suicide attempt within a cohort of young Indigenous women impacted by […]

Examining the association between suicidal behaviors and referral for mental health services among children involved in the child welfare system in Ontario, Canada

Although various studies have investigated factors associated with mental health service utilization, few studies have examined factors associated with referral for mental health services among maltreated children. The objective of this study was to examine the association between suicidal thoughts and self-harming behavior and referral for mental health services among children involved in the Child […]

Child and youth well-being review: Final report

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the lives of every Albertan. It is the greatest public health crisis we have faced in more than a generation. This report outlines how the experience of the pandemic and the efforts to stay safe from the virus have affected children and youth in Alberta. A panel of experts was […]

Finding the way back: An aggregate investigation of 45 boys who died by suicide or homicide in Manitoba

The purposes of this special report are threefold: to advance understanding of boys who were involved in the child welfare system and who died by suicide or homicide in the last 10 years; to enable and empower First Nations boys to share their experiences walking through life; and to develop recommendations that increase the effectiveness […]

Vulnerable yet forgotten? A systematic review identifying the lack of evidence for effective suicide interventions for young people in contact with child protection systems

Children and young people in out-of-home care are at a higher risk of suicide than young people not involved with child protection systems. Despite this, there is a lack of evidence of effective suicide prevention interventions for this vulnerable population. We reviewed the types of suicide prevention interventions that have been used and evaluated with […]

Health services use by children in the welfare system who died by suicide

Objectives: To examine characteristics and health service use patterns of suicide decedents with a history of child welfare system involvement to inform prevention strategies and reduce suicide in this vulnerable population. Methods: A retrospective matched case-control design (120 suicide decedents and 1200 matched controls) was implemented. Suicide decedents included youth aged 5 to 21 who died by […]

Association of child placement in out-of-home care with trajectories of hospitalization because of suicide attempts from early to late adulthood

Importance  Children placed in out-of-home care (OHC) have higher rates of suicidal behaviors, including suicide attempts, compared with those who grow up in their family of origin. Several studies have shown that this elevated risk persists into young adulthood. Yet, our knowledge about any longer-term associations of OHC with suicide attempts is limited. Objective  To […]

Effectiveness of emotional intelligence therapy on suicide risk among adolescents in residential care

This study aimed to apply Emotional Intelligence Therapy (EIT) in a sample of adolescents in residential care and to examine its impact on three outcomes: suicide risk, perceived emotional intelligence (PEI), and basic psychological needs (BPN). Treatment consisted of 16 group sessions held on a weekly basis to develop the emotional skills of perception, facilitation […]

Mandatory reviews into child deaths: October 1, 2018–March 31, 2019

Between October 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019, the Advocate received notifications of the deaths of 10 young people who passed away. They were identified as children in need of intervention and were receiving child intervention services at the time of their death or within two years of their death, meeting the criteria for mandatory […]

Care leavers: A British affair

Individuals in and leaving care within the UK experience numerous dilemmas that include a lack of supportive housing and potential homelessness, lower educational attainment and occupational status, and greater likelihood of moving into poverty. These adverse situations—all of which are interrelated—shape their present and future health status. Models of these processes usually focus on individual […]

Experience of self-harm and its treatment in looked-after young people: An interpretative phenomenological analysis

We report the first Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis examination of self-harm and experience of clinical services in young people in the public care system. Qualitative interviews with 24 looked-after young people were completed. Prevalent themes were 1) Changes in care placement, 2) Feelings of anger, 3) Not wanting/feeling able to talk, 4) Developing coping techniques, 5) […]

A stronger, safer tomorrow: A public action plan for the Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention’s final recommendations.

The public action plan outlines a strategy for strengthening the child intervention system and better supporting children, youth and families. To address urgent needs, a number of specific actions will be implemented immediately, while work on all actions will be completed by 2022.

The cycle of child protection services involvement: A cohort study of adolescent mothers.

OBJECTIVES: To determine if adolescent mothers who were in the care of child protection services (CPS) when they gave birth to their first child are more likely to have that child taken into CPS care before the child’s second birthday than adolescent mothers who were not in the care of CPS. METHODS: Linkable administrative data were used […]

BC Coroners Service Death Review Panel: Review of MCFD-Involved youth transitioning to independence January 1, 2011 – December 31, 2016.

For the period of January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2016, 1,546 youth and young adults aged 17-25 years died from causes classified as accidental, suicide, undetermined, natural or homicide. Of these deaths, 200 (13%) deaths were among youth and young adults who at age of death or at age of majority were in care, were […]

Suicidal ideation, depressive symptomatology, and self-concept: A comparison between Mexican institutionalized and noninstitutionalized children.

Previous research reports a significant prevalence of child depression worldwide and self‐concept as a predictor of depression and suicide behavior. Although suicide in children is an increasing problem in Mexico, there are scarce studies reporting risk factors and none of children in foster care institutions. This was a comparative, ex post facto study whose aim […]

Five years of investigations April 1, 2012-March 31, 2017: Summary report.

Between April 1, 2012 and March 31, 2017, 255 serious injuries or deaths of young people were reported to the Advocate. Three of these notifications involved young people subject to a Courtesy Supervision Agreement or Medical Treatment Order and will not be included in this analysis. This means that we will be looking at 252 notifications. […]

Speaking OUT: A special report on LGBTQ2S+ young people in the child welfare and youth justice systems.

The information for this report was gathered through a combination of one-to-one interviews, focus groups, and online surveys. In total, over 280 young people and stakeholders participated in lending their voices to this report. Based on what we heard, four themes emerged: Identity Safety Appropriate places to live Services and supports with five recommendations arising […]

Correlates of emotional distress in out-of-home youth.


Suicide and suicide attempts in children and adolescents in the child welfare system.

Background: Few population studies have examined the psychiatric outcomes of children and adolescents in the child welfare system, and no studies have compared outcomes before and after entry into care. Our objective was to assess the relative rate (RR) of suicide, attempted suicide, admission to hospital and visits to physiciansÕ offices among children and adolescents […]