University of Alberta
Summary of research:
1. A narrative inquiry into the lived experiences of female children who may be at risk of sexual exploitation; This research is being initiated to address the growing concerns of staff at an inner city child and youth serving community agency within Edmonton in regards to risk and protective factors of children and youth, who are at risk for sexual exploitation. The risk for sexual exploitation, is framed broadly, and may include such things as healthy sexual development, healthy relationships, self-esteem, and peer relationships. 2. Inquiring in to HIV prevention and care for pregnancy and early parenting women experiencing homelessness: The purpose of this research is to inquire into community-based supportive intervention programs for vulnerable street involved, pregnant and early parenting women in precarious housing situations across the continuum of care in order to prevent and manage Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection. This research project has received CIHR funding and is a collaborative project with the University of Alberta, Royal Alexandra Hospital, and Streetworks Program in Edmonton. 3. Improving mental health outcomes of children and youth: The primary objective of the current study is therefore to determine if a novel transformational approach can be introduced on a widespread basis across a complete health region (serving more than 1 million people). More specifically, we aim to determine if a guided internet-based intervention can be an effective, rapid, and cost-effective treatment intervention in some of the children and youth referred to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. If successful, such an intervention could significantly improve overall Health Service delivery approaches as well as improve clinical outcomes. Secondary objectives include a determination of how such an intervention may impact the clinical outcomes for those who still require inpatient admission. Also, while current waiting list priority is based primarily on the time spent on the waiting list, we aim to utilize standardized outcome data to develop more appropriate approaches to help determine the appropriate criteria for entry into both specific outpatient and inpatient programs. Such data will also allow comparisons between different outpatient and inpatient programs, and determine which offers the best clinical outcomes for children and youth with a given level of baseline problems. Finally, this study will also allow a greater understanding of what happens to those children and youth who drop off the waiting list. 4. Socially vulnerable population project: This project focuses on helping staff at the Edmonton Public Library (EPL) enhance their abilities to engage Edmontonians experiencing homelessness. This research encompasses three pieces: Firstly, a survey of EPL’s socially vulnerable users administered on site with the assistance of social workers and staff. This survey focused on demographic information and basic reasons for EPL use. Next, a survey of other EPL customers and EPL staff was administered measuring attitudes towards socially vulnerable populations. Lastly, focus groups and interviews with staff and socially vulnerable populations was undertaken to explore deeper into their lives and attitudes.