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Understanding service provision and utilization for vulnerable youth: Evidence from multiple informants

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  • Li, Haibin
  • Liebenberg, Linda
  • Ungar, Michael

Abstract

Research has demonstrated that the ability of children to cope well with risk exposure can be partly attributed to the social ecology that surrounds them, including their access to resources. Few studies however have explored the interaction of services that many vulnerable children receive in relation to surrounding risks and available resources. This study reviews data of a paired sample of 166 Canadian multiple service using youth (at least using two of five public service systems) and a youth-nominated person most knowledgeable (PMK) focused on the contextual risk factors, service use variables, and pscychosocial outcomes of youth participants. Despite low to moderate correlations between youth and PMK (the person who is most knowledgeable about youth's lives) reports, findings showed that both PMKs and youth perceive service provision as a mediator between risk and pscychosocial outcomes. For youth however, better quality of service provision is key to improved developmental outcomes. Furthermore, the more risk factors youth face at home and at school, the less likely they are to perceive their services as helpful or appropriate to their needs. Youth data also reflects far more complex interactions between risks, service provision and outcomes than PMK data. Greater sensitivity is needed to both an adult and youth's perceptions of risk and related service needs if service access is to be provided optimally.

Suggested Citation

  • Li, Haibin & Liebenberg, Linda & Ungar, Michael, 2015. "Understanding service provision and utilization for vulnerable youth: Evidence from multiple informants," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 18-25.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:56:y:2015:i:c:p:18-25
    DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2015.06.012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Williams, Crystal D. & Lindsey, Michael & Joe, Sean, 2011. "Parent–adolescent concordance on perceived need for mental health services and its impact on service use," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(11), pages 2253-2260.
    2. Cheng, Tyrone C. & Lo, Celia C., 2010. "The roles of parenting and child welfare services in alcohol use by adolescents," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 38-43, January.
    3. Sophia Leontopoulou, 2006. "Resilience of Greek Youth at an Educational Transition Point: The Role of Locus of Control and Coping Strategies as Resources," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 76(1), pages 95-126, March.
    4. Hopson, Laura M. & Lee, Eunju, 2011. "Mitigating the effect of family poverty on academic and behavioral outcomes: The role of school climate in middle and high school," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(11), pages 2221-2229.
    5. Cheng, Tyrone C. & Lo, Celia C., 2011. "A longitudinal analysis of some risk and protective factors in marijuana use by adolescents receiving child welfare services," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(9), pages 1667-1672, September.
    6. Eggerman, Mark & Panter-Brick, Catherine, 2010. "Suffering, hope, and entrapment: Resilience and cultural values in Afghanistan," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 71-83, July.
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