Research Snapshot: Child Welfare, Race, and Family Reunification in Quebec

Findings from a study on the impacts of race on family reunification.

July 26, 2022

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Research has shown that Black children are overrepresented in child welfare systems in Canada. Systemic racism and discrimination contribute to the situations that lead to entering these systems and also affect children’s experiences once inside.

The study used longitudinal clinical administrative data from an anonymous child welfare agency in Montreal, Quebec. Researchers looked at 1,395 children who had received ongoing child welfare services in Quebec between April 1, 2002, and March 31, 2011. Data from the 2006 Canadian Census was used to develop measures related to social and economic disadvantages.

The researchers found that Black children in Montreal stayed in out-of-home placement for longer amounts of time, experienced a greater number of placements, and were less likely to reunite with their families compared with those who are White or who belong to other visible minority categories.

This research contributes to our growing understanding of the Family Structure and Family Identity lenses of the Vanier Institute’s Family Diversities and Wellbeing Framework.

Boatswain-Kyte, A., Esposito, T., & Trocmé, N. (2022). Impacts of race on family reunification: A longitudinal study comparing exits from Quebec’s child welfare system. Child Abuse & Neglect, 125.

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