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Perceptions of service providers and parents regarding improving outcomes of young children living in circumstances of disadvantage

dc.contributor.advisorGreen, Kathrynen_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberPushor, Debbieen_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberMuhajarine, Nazeemen_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberAston, Meganen_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberAbonyi, Sylviaen_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberSmadu, Marleneen_US
dc.creatorDietrich Leurer, Marieen_US
dc.description.abstractMany children live in circumstances which make it difficult for them to develop the capacities needed to succeed later in life. Previous research has focused on determining the risk factors for impaired outcomes and on evaluating the impact of specific programs. There has been a lack of research exploring the wisdom of people at the grassroots level and across programs. This research asked service providers and parents to describe the challenges that are faced by families with young children living in circumstances of disadvantage, the barriers preventing participation in programs, and the strategies that would address these challenges and barriers. Three research approaches were incorporated into the design of this project; qualitative policy research, community-based participatory research, and knowledge transfer methodology. These approaches were applied in order to encourage the participation of community organizations, to produce information that would provide guidance to policy-makers, and to promote implementation of the strategies recommended by research participants. In Phase One, 28 service providers from 24 Regina programs were interviewed. In Phase Two, the results from the service provider interviews were presented to focus groups of target parents to obtain their feedback. This process served to acknowledge the expertise of the parents as those with firsthand experience of their own reality. The categories of challenges, barriers and strategies that were identified by participants were psychosocial (related to personal connections and mental well-being) and/or structural (concrete and tangible issues). Four themes emerged from these findings. First, interrelatedness and synergistic interaction among the social conditions faced by these families was evident. Second, instability was present at both familial and program delivery levels. Third, target families faced power imbalances from multiple sources. Finally, a lack of belonging or connectedness was experienced by families as a result of their circumstances of social exclusion. The results point to the need for policies to address the following areas: adequate household income, childcare, funding of non-government organizations, housing, and mental health and addictions. By presenting the views of people at the grassroots level, it is hoped that these research results will provide direction to policy-makers.en_US
dc.subjectearly childhood developmenten_US
dc.subjectpublic healthen_US
dc.subjecthealthy public policyen_US
dc.subjectpublic and social welfareen_US
dc.titlePerceptions of service providers and parents regarding improving outcomes of young children living in circumstances of disadvantageen_US
dc.type.materialtexten_US Health and Epidemiologyen_US Health and Epidemiologyen_US of Saskatchewanen_US of Philosophy (Ph.D.)en_US


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