In the summer of 2009, as part of the initial grant for York’s KMb pilot project and as part of a competitive, adjudicated process, the KMb Unit created Social Innovation Collaboration Grants to address research issues with relevant public policy and/or professional practice implications in the areas of Mental Health, as this was an identified priority area by community partners. Here is a summary of one of these projects:
Drs. Jennifer Connolly, Hala Tamim and Yvonne Bohr, affiliated with the LaMarsh Centre for Research on Violence and Conflict Resolution (York) partnered with Kinark Child and Family Services and York Region Children’s Aid Society for a short-term knowledge mobilization project around new mothers in York Region; examining the prevalence of these vulnerable girls in York Region, how their Mental Health needs are being met, what service gaps could be identified and determining how research on risk and resilience can inform clinical care and maximize positive outcomes.
The research team employed graduate students to support their efforts and focused on the following activity:
• Determine the prevalence of pregnant and mothering teens in York Region
• Survey on available services to pregnant and mothering teens
• Review of girls receiving protective service intervention from York Region CAS within this user population
• Synthesize published literature on risks and resiliencies of pregnant and mothering teens
• Begin framing research to explore factors related to risk and resiliency for these young women and their children
• Initiate community-based opportunities for feedback and knowledge exchange with interested members of the community
The team is excited about what they were able to accomplish and they are continuing to work in collaboration through a successful CIHR KT Supplement grant, which will build on their collaborative capacity by using social media and technology-based research collaboration tools, including the O3 platform, to further their research and KMb agendas. The partnership development between the three agencies, as well as a large cohort of youth was also a very positive outcome which the team has identified, supporting the sustainability of their efforts.
Hear Jennifer Connolly (York), Sandra Cunning (Kinark Child and Family Services) and Bonita Majonis (York Region Children’s Aid Society) talk about the project at the 2010 KMb Expo: