Using Data to Enable Better Outcomes for Young People Leaving Care

This brief proposes tangible mechanisms for shared decision-making with respect to the case files and plans of care for young people growing up in Canada’s child welfare systems. Grounded in a review of best and promising practices, with respect to rights-based data collection and oversight in child protection settings as well as shared decision-making with respect to electronic health records, we propose a rights-based and custodial approach to administrative data collection and use as an immediate first step towards implementing a national rights-based data strategy for youth receiving child welfare services. Individual rights to access and privacy must be balanced by concerns for collective wellbeing and the assurance of human rights protection for all young people. Data must be made available in order to monitor systems-level youth outcomes; identify systemic inequities and structural drivers of inequality; and enable continuous quality improvement efforts within the system.

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