Improving the educational achievement of young people in out-of-home care

Katharine Dill, Robert Flynn , Matthew Hollingshead, Auriole Fernandes

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationSpecial issue

    17 Citations (Scopus)


    A strong link between research and practice is essential to ensure
    that the best available evidence gets into the hands of child welfare
    practitioners, who are faced with the daunting task of making decisions
    about vulnerable children on a daily basis. In 2007, a group of
    senior child welfare leaders in the province of Ontario (Canada) created
    a research dissemination model that replicated the worldrenowned
    UK program, Research in Practice (
    uk). Practice and Research Together (PART; is
    an Ontario consortium of 45 child welfare organizations whose mandate
    is to disseminate research to its member agencies, which include
    85% of the local child welfare organizations in the province. Each
    member pays an annual membership-fee that is based on its size
    (Dill & Shera, 2011). A key factor in PART's success has been its ability
    to link its program offerings (i.e., webinars, literature reviews, conferences,
    and publications) to issues of real-world relevance to child
    welfare practitioners and senior leaders. A central and highly anticipated
    program offering is PART's annual conference (learning
    event). These conferences bring evidence to bear on practice in priority
    areas in child welfare.
    On May 31 and June 1 and 2, 2011, PART, in collaboration with the
    Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services (CRECS)
    at the University of Ottawa, co-hosted an international conference in
    Ottawa that was focused on improving the educational achievement
    of young people in out-of-home care (hereafter, in care). Speakers
    from five countries – Canada, USA, Germany, Sweden, and UK – presented
    the results of their research at the conference. The speakers
    addressed three main topic areas: the disadvantaged socio-political
    status of young people in care, many of whom do not complete secondary
    or post-secondary education; innovative interventions to improve
    their educational outcomes; and the effectiveness of tutoring,
    which is the most common educational intervention for young people
    in care.
    Original languageEnglish
    Specialist publicationChildren & Youth Services Review
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • educational outcomes
    • looked after children


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